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Tim Payne to retire

London Wasps prop Tim Payne is to retire from the game following a neck injury.

Injured towards the end of last season, Payne has been given medical advice to give up the game following an impressive career in which he won 22 England caps and represented the British and Irish Lions as well as achieving major accolades at club level.

In all, Payne represented London Wasps an impressive 266 times. He is the holder of three Premiership titles (2004, 2005 and 2008) and he also won two Heineken Cup titles in 2004 and 2007 and a Powergen Cup in 2006.

Payne began his career at Coventry RFC and joined London Wasps from Cardiff in 2003.

He won his first international cap against Australia in 2004 having impressed for England Students, Under 21s and A team, and he was a called up as a replacement for the British and Irish Lions tour in 2009.

He said: “I am gutted that I have been forced to call it a day. I was injured towards the end of the season and not recovering from it wasn’t something I saw coming, but I accept that is the nature of the game. That doesn’t however make it any less disappointing for me especially because I was still very much enjoying playing, training and the progress at Wasps, and I will especially miss the camaraderie you get with the players. I feel I have been hugely fortunate in my career to play in some great teams with great players and winning titles with Wasps is something I have immense pride in alongside representing my country and the British and Irish Lions. I will look back fondly on some great memories. I would like to think I will stay involved in the game and I want to thank all of the players and coaches I have worked with as well as my family, friends and supporters who have backed me throughout my career.”

London Wasps Director of Rugby Dai Young said: “Tim has been a superb servant to Wasps for over ten years and he has been an important player through good times and bad for this Club. Though it is obviously disappointing for him that he has been forced to retire rather than decide himself when to stop playing, he can look back with great pride on his career. To play for one club over 250 times and to win domestic and European titles as well as playing for England and the Lions are all fantastic achievements and I speak for everyone when I say we wish him all the best in the next stage of his life.”

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