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An injury has forced a former British & Irish Lion to hang up his boots

Calling it a day after winning 46 international caps.

Lee Byrne in Lions action in South Africa in 2009.
Lee Byrne in Lions action in South Africa in 2009.
Image: Dan Sheridan/INPHO

FORMER WALES INTERNATIONAL Lee Byrne has retired from rugby union after failing to recover from a shoulder injury.

The Newport Gwent Dragons captain — who has also represented the Scarlets, Ospreys and Clermont Auvergne — has not played since tearing a shoulder muscle in a game against Newcastle Falcons last October.

Byrne featured 46 times for Wales after making his debut against New Zealand at the Millennium Stadium in November 2005, and last played for his country in the 2011 World Cup versus Fiji, before leaving Wales to join Clermont.

The full-back was part of the Welsh side that achieved a Six Nations Grand Slam in 2008 and was drafted into the British & Irish Lions squad a year later. During the tour of South Africa, Byrne scored two tries and started ahead of Rob Kearney for the first Test.

“This is a disappointing time for me but I’m looking forward to the future,” said 34-year-old Byrne.

“I’m not sure what the next chapter holds or even what I want to do, but I am planning on taking some down time over the next few weeks to look at my opportunities — whether that’s in rugby or a new career.”

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