2011 15/11
Joe Worsley announces retirement

Wasps and England forward Joe Worsley has been forced into early retirement following a neck injury.

Back-row forward Worsley made a name for himself at all levels during his playing career, winning 78 caps for England and featuring in over 300 Wasps games.

He was also called up to represent both the Lions and the Barbarians. He later won an MBE for his role in the 2003 World Cup winning England squad.

Worsley was instrumental in numerous Wasps campaigns, winning the Heineken Cup twice, the Premiership four times and lifting the Powergen Cup three times. However, his illustrious career came to an end during a training session with the England squad when he sustained a neck injury that would ultimately call time on his playing days.

The number eight tried to power through the injury, even taking part in training for the national squad ahead of their warm-up games against Wales and Ireland. However, the contact training proved he was not ready for matches, forcing him to sit out of the World Cup campaign and having to watch the matches from the sidelines whilst wearing rugby jackets as to the playing kit.

"Last season I suffered an injury to my neck that has effectively ended my career," he told BBC Sport. "Re-starting contact work during the England World Cup Camp make it obvious that I could not continue."

Making the announcement, Worsley told "I want to say thanks to everyone who helped me on that path. I'm proud of what I achieved and how I played the game."

The Duchess has also been approached by 'Vogue' magazine several times, but the 29-year-old has repeatedly refused the offer.

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