Wales and Cardiff winger Josh Navidi has been forced to announce his immediate retirement from rugby union due to a serious neck problem.
Navidi suffered the injury while making his 33rd appearance for Wales in their third Test against South Africa in July last year and has not been able to fully recover.
The 32-year-old, who traveled with the British and Irish Lions to South Africa in 2021 without being capped, has announced the end of a distinguished playing career.
“It is with great sadness, but also immense pride, that I announce my retirement from rugby,” Navidi said in a statement on Cardiff’s website.
“While I knew this day would eventually come, I don’t think I’ve really been able to prepare myself for how difficult it would be to put into words the impact the game has had on my life.”
Navidi, who made 184 appearances for Cardiff, helped Wales to three Six Nations crowns, including the 2019 Grand Slam, while being part of the team that reached the World Cup semi-finals that year.
“I will certainly miss playing, but I am very proud of everything I have achieved in my career, whether it be with Cardiff, Wales or the British and Irish Lions,” he said.
“I now look forward to the next chapter beyond rugby.”