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!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!"
Nearly 40 players were involved in the first Wales Under 18 training session of the season. WRU National Performance Manager Gethin Watts is excited at the potential shown by the group and expects the Regional Under 18 Championship to hone their skills even further.