Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Williams forced to call it a day

Former Wales international Rhys Williams has been forced to retire from rugby with a serious knee injury.

Williams won 44 caps for Wales at full-back and wing and starred during the 2005 Six Nations rugby, scoring two tries against Scotland as Wales won their first Grand Slam for 27 years.

"I'm obviously massively disappointed but I hope in the future to look back on my rugby career and be proud of my achievements in the game," Williams said. "Rugby has been a huge part of my life and has given me many wonderful opportunities and memories."

He added: "I've been fortunate enough to see the world while playing the game I love and have met a lot of people and made many lifelong friends.

"To captain the Cardiff Blues during the 2005/06 season was a huge honour and I'm also proud that I've only ever played for my hometown of Cowbridge and for Cardiff and the Blues.

"I'm also very proud to have represented my country on 44 occasions.

I like to take people on and run from my own line and, if England do not agree with that style of rugby, I am not their man." England may not be playing well, but their two home matches in next year's Six Nations hospitalityare already sell-outs and all the hospitality for the first game, against Wales in February, have been taken. Australia and New Zealand are not so fortunate commercially and they will express their concerns about the stagnancy of the game on the field at this weekend's gathering of the International Rugby Board's general assembly in Dublin, followed by a meeting of the council.

"A new chapter in my life begins and I'm looking forward to gaining some experience in the business world."

Cardiff Blues director of rugby David Young added: "It is always a sad day when a player is forced to hang up his boots and even sadder when one of the genuine good guys is put in that position, which Rhys most certainly is.

"On the field his pace and elusive qualities were an integral part of his success and marked him out as a special performer with try-scoring abilities up there with the very best to have ever worn the shirt.

"On behalf of everyone at the Blues, I wish him every success following what has been a long, successful and distinguished playing career."

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