GLOUCESTER’S former England lock Alex Brown has been forced to retire from rugby because of a serious shoulder injury.
The 33-year-old was hurt during Gloucester’s opening Aviva Premiership game of the season against Northampton. After almost three months of rest and rehabilitation, Brown underwent complex surgery on nerve damage but, although the operation will improve his shoulder movement, it has meant an end to his playing career.
“It is stating the obvious, but I am totally gutted,” he told the club’s official website. “When the surgeon came in after the operation and told me that I would not be able to play rugby again, the news hit me hard and has been tough to deal with, especially as there has been a new dawn at Gloucester under [rugby director] Nigel Davies and I so wanted to be part of it.
“I genuinely thought that I had a few good years left in me but it’s not to be. I’ve had to take on board the advice I have received and what my body is telling me.”
Brown won three England caps in 2006 and 2007, and he made 227 Premiership appearances, including a competition record 87 consecutive starts.