A groin injury has forced Gareth Cooper to leave Cardiff Blues
Wales scrum-half Gareth Cooper has parted company with the Cardiff Blues.
Cooper, who played a part in the 2005 and 2008 Grand Slams, has been struggling with a groin injury and has been advised by doctors to take up to 12 months out of the game.
The 31-year-old made the switch from Gloucester to Cardiff in 2009 but has since only made 22 appearances for the region.
This season he has only featured in two games, with the problem then flaring up again.
"I've come to an amicable agreement with Cardiff Blues and would like to thank them for all their support over the years," said Cooper.
"It's been a frustrating couple of years for me and things haven't quite worked as I'd hoped. I don't think I've shown my full potential at the Blues due to the groin injury.
"I've been told by the medical team that I need a full rest from the game for between six to 12 months.
"The groin injury started to hurt in the summer of 2009 and it's got progressively worse. Throughout that period I'd been playing with a lot of pain and had to have two operations on the groin and then a double hernia operation.
"This season I've played 20 minutes against Treviso and started against Connacht but I had to take pain killers, so the doctors have recommended that I am to rest fully for up to a year.
"Obviously I will miss all the players and management who have been fantastic with me since I arrived and would like to wish them the best of luck for the future."
Cardiff Blues chief executive Robert Norster was clearly disappointed by the news but has praised the scrum-half and wished him a successful future.
"It is hugely disappointing news for both Gareth and the Blues that such a talented player is sidelined in this way," said Norster.
"Gareth has overcome a number of serious injuries over the course of his impressive career, but this most recent injury has really caused tremendous frustration not to mention significant pain for the player that prevents his successful return to competitive action.
"Naturally, on behalf of everyone associated with the Blues I thank Gareth for his efforts for the team and wish him every success in his future career."
Wales Head Coach Rob Howley talks to WRU TV's Sebastian Barrett about the 36-man squad he has just named for the forthcoming Under Armour series, which includes two uncapped players, Ospreys duo Sam Davies and Rory Thornton.
Head coach Rowland Phillips is deligthed he can now call BT Sport Cardiff Arms Park home for his Wales Women's side, who launch their international season next month with games against Scotland and UK Armed Forces in the heart of the capital city.
Wales Sevens star Sam Cross has put his home town club of Brynmawr on the map after winning a silver medal at the Rio Olympics with Team GB. His club have now honoured him by naming their players bar after him, as WRU TV discovered at the official launch, recently.
One of the newest members of the Principality Premiership, Bargoed admit it's proving to be a steep learning curve at the highest level, but are determined to become a force to be reckoned with. WRU TV visited the club last weekend when they took on Llanelli.
Table-topping Aberavon travel to north Wales to tackle RGC 1404 as both teams defend unbeaten starts to the season in the Principality Premiership. WRU TV's Graeme Gillespie visited the Wizards to see how their preparations were going for the game of the weekend.
The Half a Game initiative is currently sweeping across Wales and proving a major success. The scheme aims to give every young player at least half a game every weekend. WRU TV recently visited a festival in Narberth where clubs have fully embraced the initiative.
Both Bargoed and Swansea were seeking their first win of the Principality Premiership season this afternoon. It proved a fruitful day for the hosts - not only did they win, but Bargoed claimed a try bonus point.
Cardiff managed to keep their unbeaten record at home intact, but only just as Bridgend made them work extremely hard before the Blue and Blacks secured a hard fought Principality Premiership win at the BT Sport Arms Park last night.
Former Wales back row Andy Powell gives a guided tour of The Wern, home of Merthyr RFC, who are determined to prove a lot of people wrong and make their mark in their first season in the Principality Premiership.
Wales Sevens head coach Gareth Williams looks back on the Rio Sevens success where he helped GB win silver. He believes the successful campaign is a huge boost to his Welsh squad as they prepare for another World Series, as WRU TV's Graeme Gillespie discovers