Cardiff Blues hooker Gareth Williams has been forced to retire from the game due to neck injury.
It still hasn't sunk in, but the surgeon has made the choice for me
"Basically, the neck was damaged during the pre season friendly against Bath," explained Williams. "I damaged some more discs in the neck close to where I had the operation last year, which are now fused together."
"If I were to have the operation, it would be quite a big procedure and the doctors said that if I did come back playing, I would be opening myself up to maybe some permanent damage and there is no guarantee it would work."
"So it's too much of a risk, especially in the position that I play in the front row. His advice was to retire and so I'm hanging up my boots. It still hasn't sunk in, but the surgeon has made the choice for me."
Williams signed for Cardiff Blues from Bridgend in the summer of 2003, having previously played for UWIC and Pontypridd and also the Sydney club, Gordon.
"Obviously I'm going to miss the game and the boys here, but life goes on after rugby and I have to think about my future now. I have a young family and that has helped put things into perspective."
"I have to find a real job now!" he laughed. "It's every rugby player's nightmare, but it has to come to an end sometime. I'm hoping I've done enough the last few years to be successful in the future away from rugby.
"I'd like to say good luck for the rest of the season to all the boys, Babs and Just, and hopefully this season or soon in the future we will see the Heineken Cup here at the Blues."
"Thanks again and snowboarding here I come!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!"
The British & Irish Cup kicks off this weekend with the four Regional Premiership Select XVs flying the flag for Wales. Welsh
Sat 14 Nov: Blues Premiership Select v Nottingham (2.30) & Connacht Eagles v Dragons (2.30)
Sun 15 Nov: Yorkshire Carnegie v Ospreys Premiership Select (1.30) & Scarlets v Bedford Blues (3.00)
The Welsh Rugby Union is forming a new Youth Board with a brief to help keep more young people involved in the game during their late teenage years and beyond. The first task of the fifteen strong Board will be to analyse and consider the issues which lead to a number of youngsters drifting away from the sport between the ages of 16 and 21. To apply visit www.wru.wales/youthboard
The Foster's Challenge Cup will involve the 12 Principality Premiership sides and will run during European and British & Irish Cup weeks, providing vital fixtures for the participating clubs and an opportunity for upcoming players to step up to semi-professional rugby and make a claim for starting places within the Premiership squads.
Eighty schools and colleges in Wales now have a full time rugby officer as part of the WRU's school club hub scheme. All of the school club hub officers recently gathered at the National Centre of Excellence for various workshops.
With Liam Williams forced out of the World Cup through injury, lock Luke Charteris and Skills Coach Neil Jenkins say they have to put yesterday's defeat behind them as Wales now look ahead to another physical encounter against South Africa in the quarter-finals of the Rugby World Cup.
WRU Consultant Head of Physical Performance Paul Stridgeon praises the Physical Performance department for their work and dedication as he addresses the media ahead of Wales' Pool A clash against Australia
Twelve young people have been selected to follow a one year WRU Coach Core apprenticeship programme. Coach Core was set up by the Royal Foundation of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and Prince Harry as part of the Olympics legacy in 2012 and the Duke of Cambridge was on hand to meet the apprentices on their first day in the job. The programme has been funded by the Hunter Foundation.