sport

Hazell calls time on career

Gloucester flanker Andy Hazell has announced his retirement from all forms of rugby with immediate effect.

The 35-year-old, who won seven caps for England, spent his entire 17-year career at Kingsholm where he made more than 250 appearances following his debut in the 1997-98 campaign.

"I am sad it is all coming to an end," said Hazell, who quit on medical advice after struggling to overcome a concussion injury he suffered last summer.

"But at the same time I am proud to have played 17 seasons for my home town club. I can't really grumble," he said.

"It started back in August. I got concussed, came back and then got concussed again. I worked hard to get back, and tried everything, but it still wasn't right. Ultimately, it was too much of a risk at this stage of my career to try and play on.

"For me, it's been a privilege to play for Gloucester. Watching the team as a youngster, having my family around me, it's made it a special experience."

Gloucester rugby director Nigel Davies said: "He's a true servant, a true warrior who represents everything that is good about Gloucester, about the club and what it stands for. He's put his body on the line time and time again for the cause.

"It's a sad day to see him retiring. It was probably always at the back of his mind that this might be his last season, and he would have wanted to play a few more games, but he has given everything to the club."