Former Hull and England rugby league star Josh Hodgson forced to retire through injury

Hodgson said: 'That’s professional rugby league I guess…we all know what we sign-up for.' Credit: PA

A former England rugby league player has spoken of the "cost" of playing through injury as he announced his retirement.

Josh Hodgson, a former Hull KR and Hull FC player, said a neck injury had finally forced him to quit the sport.

In a message to fans on Instagram he wrote: "This is never the way I thought I'd be announcing the end of my footy career.

"In hindsight it's probably a blessing because I have always tried pushing through when my body was broken... but it's come at a cost."

In a career spanning 15 years the 33-year-old hooker had spells at both Hull clubs before moving to Australia's NRL, where he played for Canberra Raiders and most recently Parramatta Eels.

Josh Hodgson celebrates scoring a try in 2013's Hull derby. Credit: PA

He played a pivotal role in England's 2017 World Cup campaign but missed out on the final itself after suffering injury in the semi-final.

He told fans: "I am retiring knowing I gave everything physically and mentally to the game, every day.

"I will be staying in the game which has given me everything, but for now I am looking forward to spending time with family and close friends."

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