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Former England captain Phil Vickery forced to retire

Text by News Wires

Latest update : 2010-10-29

After suffering yet another neck injury, ex-England captain Paul Vickery has been forced to retire from rugby, his club Wasps has announced.

AFP - Former England captain Phil Vickery has been forced to retire from rugby with immediate effect after suffering yet another neck injury, his club Wasps have confirmed.

Prop Vickery, who has played for the British and Irish Lions and won the World Cup with England in 2003, is set to announce his decision at a press conference later Thursday.

The 34-year-old had successfully come back from four major back and neck operations before - but this time he was warned the risk of serious injury was too great.

Vickery, nicknamed 'Raging Bull', had been talking about forcing his way back into England's World Cup plans and extending his playing days by another year.

He admitted the time had come to concede defeat in his fight to return to fitness.

"I'm not afraid of fighting back or proving people wrong but there comes a stage when you have to listen and trust in the experts and it is based on medical reasons that I have been forced to retire," Vickery said.

"My love and passion for the game is still there, which is the most disappointing thing for me - I wanted to end my career playing with Wasps.

"It's not a nice feeling and ultimately I'm a sportsman so in my head it feels like admitting defeat.

"But I will look back on my career with a lot of happy memories. I feel privileged to have been part of some amazing teams in Wasps and Gloucester, to have worked with the best coaches in the world, and to have played against and with some of the best players in the game.

"Through the sad times, the injuries and the setbacks, my desire and passion for the game has never wavered. Rugby has given me an awful lot and I still love the game and I look back with real happiness. It's been amazing.

"As well as Wasps, I will miss playing for England dearly. To be able to stand on a rugby field and sing our national anthem was truly brilliant, an amazing experience and one which I have never taken for granted."

Vickery's final international appearance was for the Lions in their third Test victory over South Africa at Ellis Park in the summer of 2009.

His final game for Wasps, on September 25, was against Gloucester at Kingsholm, the club where he had spent 11 years after moving from Cornwall.
 

Date created : 2010-10-28

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