Former England skipper announces retirement

by staff

Former England captain Lewis Moody confirmed on Tuesday that he is retiring from rugby with immediate effect.

The 33-year-old Bath flanker, who won 71 caps and played in two Tests on the 2005 British and Irish Lions tour of New Zealand, stepped down from the international arena following England's World Cup campaign last autumn.

"It is with great sadness that I have to announce my immediate retirement from all forms of rugby," said Moody, who suffered a shoulder injury earlier this season.

"I have been very privileged to have played in some incredible teams and with some phenomenal players.

"Rugby has been my life for such a long time now, it is scary to imagine what it will be like without it, but I look forward to relishing the new opportunities and adventures that will come my way."

Moody retired from the international scene having scored nine tries for England and having skippered his country on 11 occasions.

He also won three caps for the British and Irish Lions, a figure which, like his England appearances, would have been higher save for a string of injuries, which included a broken ankle in 2009 and a knee injury last year.

Moody started his club career with Leicester in 1996 before joining Bath in 2010.