Former Sale Sharks player calls time on career

Andrew Sheridan at Sale Sharks Credit: Clint Hughes/PA Archive/Press Association Images

Former Sale Sharks forward and England international Andrew Sheridan has retired from rugby with immediate effect.

The 34-year-old former England and British and Irish Lions prop has failed to recover from a neck injury suffered last season which required surgery in February.

He won 40 England caps, including starting the 2007 World Cup final against South Africa in Paris, and made two Lions Test match appearances in 2009. He also won the Premiership with Sale in 2006.

His final England appearance came against Argentina during the 2011 World Cup campaign in New Zealand.

A statement from his management company said: "James Grant has announced today that their client Andrew Sheridan has retired from rugby with immediate effect on medical grounds.

"Andrew, 34, has failed to recover from the neck injury he sustained last season playing for Toulon and the subsequent operation he underwent, back in February.

"Capped 40 times by England and twice by the British and Irish Lions, Andrew will now focus on completing his qualifications in wine before looking to forge a new career in the trade."

Sheridan, regarded as one of the most powerful and destructive scrummagers in world rugby at his peak, joined Toulon in 2012 after nine years with Aviva Premiership club Sale Sharks, helping them win the league title and European Challenge Cup following spells at Richmond and Bristol.

The 6ft 5in Dulwich College product made his England debut against Canada in 2004, and he was then selected for the Lions tour to New Zealand six months later, playing in five midweek matches, but no Tests.

The Australian front-row particularly felt the full force of his scrummaging quality, being on the receiving end more than once, but notably during a 2007 World Cup quarter-final clash in Marseille when England won and he was named man-of-the-match.

Sheridan featured in all seven games during that World Cup campaign, which culminated in England losing 15-6 to South Africa at Stade de France.

Sheridan's retirement means just three members of that England starting XV are still playing professional rugby - Leicester back Mathew Tait, Sale wing Mark Cueto and Harlequins number eight Nick Easter.

Sheridan went on to gain selection for England's miserable 2011 World Cup excursion, but a shoulder injury suffered against Argentina ended his tournament prematurely.