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26-year-old rugby player forced to retire

Williams has had to hang up his boots. Credit: PA

Bath centre Ben Williams has been forced to retire from rugby due to a shoulder injury.

The 26-year-old former England U16 and U18 cap made 37 appearances for Bath, scoring five tries, but did not feature in the 2014-15 campaign after suffering a shoulder injury in a pre-season match against Scarlets which required surgery.

"I've done everything in my power to get back to full fitness, but there comes a point when you realise you need to do what's best for your well-being," Williams told the official Bath website.

Bath head coach Mike Ford said: "It's a real shame to see such a talented player having to retire from the game so young.

"Every time he took to the field we saw what he was capable of, so it's a pity that injury has curtailed such a promising career."


Breaking overseas rule would be 'really tough' on camp

It would have been "really tough" on England's dressing room if Stuart Lancaster selected overseas players in his World Cup squad, according to Billy Vunipola.

Vunipola is pleased the overseas rule has been upheld. Credit: PA

The overseas rule was created to prevent England's best players accepting lucrative contracts with clubs in France and the southern hemisphere at English rugby's potential expense.

It means Toulon's 2014 European Player of Year, Steffon Armitage, can only be selected to play at this year's World Cup under "exceptional circumstances" such as an injury crisis.

Saracens forward Vunipola, who was named in Lancaster's squad yesterday after an impressive campaign for club and country, said:

It would have been really tough on the dressing room, especially because the position he [Steffon Armitage] plays in is our captain's position.

It would have been like going back on your word because you're saying one thing and doing another. By sticking to your word it gives players that sense of trust.

– England and Saracens forward Billy Vunipola

Billy Vunipola was shortlisted for Green Flag Forward of the Season at the Aviva Premiership Rugby Awards. Follow @GreenFlagUK or visit to keep up to date with the breakdown cover provider.


Murray calls time on Scotland career

Murray won 66 caps for Scotland. Credit: PA

Record-breaking Scotland prop Euan Murray has announced he is retiring from the international game.

The 34-year-old Glasgow Warrior has appeared 66 times for his country - more than any other tighthead prop - but just four months before the start of this year's World Cup has decided to call it a day.

Murray - who made his Dark Blues bow against Romania in Bucharest back in 2005 - said: "I am extremely proud and grateful to have represented the people of Scotland at rugby for so long."

The 2009 British and Irish Lion's retirement will give Scotland head coach Vern Cotter a major headache as tries to rally his troops after this year's miserable RBS 6 Nations campaign, but that did not stop the Kiwi paying tribute to Murray.

He said: "At his best Euan was a world-class tighthead prop. On behalf of the team and management, I wish Euan and his family all the very best."

Owen Farrell agrees new long term Saracens deal

Farrell has signed on the dotted line. Credit: PA

Saracens have announced that England international fly-half Owen Farrell has signed a "long-term contract extension" with the Premiership club.

Farrell, 23, has clocked up more than 100 appearances for Saracens since making his first team debut in 2008.

Farrell made his comeback from a knee injury in last Saturday's European Champions Cup semi-final clash against Clermont Auvergne. He had been sidelined since January.

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