Horsman retires from rugby with neck injury

Worcester Warriors prop Chris Horsman has announced his retirement from professional rugby with immediate effect.

The former Wales international front row has suffered a series of injuries over the last two seasons and has now forced to hang up his boots on medical grounds following a serious neck injury.

Horsman played 62 games for Worcester, scoring four tries, but has been limited to just seven starts in the last two years.

Mike Ruddock, Director of Rugby at Warriors, said: “The news that Chris Horsman has been advised to retire from professional rugby has not been unexpected.

“Despite Chris making a huge effort to come through this latest setback, unfortunately the injury is of the type and magnitude that will prevent him continuing to play at this level.

“Chris has been a fantastic player for the Warriors and for Wales and it really is a shame that his career has to end when he would have been at the peak of his powers.

“My link with Chris is a particularly strong one as I gave him his first cap for Wales. It’s therefore a big blow for the club and particularly for Chris that he has had to retire from rugby and I know how difficult that is to deal with having gone through something similar myself many years ago.

“I wish Chris every success in the new challenges ahead and he will always be welcome back here at Sixways Stadium at any time.”

Horsman signed for Warriors in July 2004 and quickly established himself as one of the best props in the English game and a ferocious scrummager.

The 32-year-old tight-head started his club career at Bath in 1997 before joining Bridgend in 2002. With the advent of regional rugby in Wales, Horsman was called up to the Celtic Warriors regional side, but when the club was disbanded due to financial difficulties in 2004, he was forced to seek another club, ending up at Worcester.

Although not Welsh born, Horsman qualified to represent Wales due to residency requirements and became a key component in the Welsh international set-up, making 14 appearances for his country and scoring one try against England at Twickenham.

Horsman made his full Welsh debut on 11 November 2005 against Fiji at the Millennium Stadium. He also won a call-up to the Wales squad for the 2007 Rugby World Cup after impressing on the domestic stage

“It has been a decision between my health and family and the game I love – I had to make the right choice and do it wisely,” said Horsman.

“I have had almost 20 operations from rugby and having had cancer twice I have been through it, sometimes the biggest and hardest decision is to say enough is enough.

“Rugby has been a huge part of my life for 12 years. I would do it for nothing, I would pay to do it, so I have been very fortunate with the things I have achieved and the people I have met and teams I have played for, particularly Worcester and Wales.

“I have a lovely family and beautiful wife, I’m pleased that I have got what I have outside of rugby and that the sport has given me the opportunity for fantastic life experiences and lead the life I have.

“The club have indicated that they want me to stay involved in some capacity and it’s something I would like, I would love to keep my links with Warriors, it is a club close to my heart and out of all the clubs I have played for it has made a massive impression on me,” he added.

“The supporters, Cecil Duckworth and the coaches and players have been fantastic to me. But ultimately it is a decision I have had to make with my family to retire.

“It’s disappointing that I have had to retire with Warriors not where I would like them to be. I want the club to be higher up the Guinness Premiership table and in the top European competitions. But I’m sure they will be there, if not this season, then the one after.

“There is real talent in

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