Newport Gwent Dragons and Wales hooker Lloyd Burns has been forced to retire from rugby, following a neck injury that has seen the hooker out of action since the beginning of January.
Ongoing tests have revealed damage to the aorta resulting in immediate retirement, with possible heart surgery to follow.
Director of Rugby Robert Beale said, everything Lloyd has achieved in life he has earned through hard work and dedication, his enforced retirement from the game has come as a massive shock to Lloyd and his family and will resonate throughout the rugby world.
I am personally relieved that this serious condition has been identified off the field of play and would therefore like to thank our medical team at the Dragons, staff at the Royal Gwent Hospital and University of Wales Cardiff for all their efforts in ensuring Lloyd has and will continue to receive the highest standards of care.
There will be no further comment from the region and all members of the Media are requested to respect Lloyd’s privacy by not contacting him or his family at this difficult time.