33-year-old Wales international loose forward Alix Popham, who ended his contract with French club Brive at the end of the season, has announced his retirement following medical advice.
The former Newport RFC, Scarlets and Leeds No.8 hasn't played since March this year after injuring his elbow and shoulder.
He underwent a reconstruction to his shoulder but medical advice has concluded that the injury presents too high a risk for him to continue to play.
Popham commented: "We have been talking to a few different clubs and I have been waiting to see what the surgeon had to say. It's incredibly disappointing, but the advice is that my playing days are over and I have to accept what the experts say.
He explained that he was interested in starting a career as a coach now that his playing days have come to an end.
"I'm currently assessing my options, but I would love to stay in rugby and I'm going to get involved with Newbridge youth and do my coaching badges and take it from there. The game has given me so much, I've been all over the world and had lots of amazing experiences and memories to look back on and have also made some great friends," he said.
Popham played in both the 2003 and 2007 World Cups and has fond memories of representing his country at the highest level.
He said: "With Wales, 'nearly' beating New Zealand in the 2003 Rugby World Cup stands out, but beating England at Twickenham for the first time in 23 years in 2008 which then lead to the Grand Slam has to be the highlight."
Popham has every confidence that Wales will make an impact at the World Cup which will be held later this year in New Zealand.
He said: "Wales will be there again this August and they will be right in the middle of a gruelling pre-season right now. I'd like to wish them all the best at this summer and at the World Cup, I've been to two of them and experienced all the highs and the lows of international rugby on both occasions.
"It's time for me to look at the next chapter of my life now and I'll be watching at home from my armchair like everyone else for this one, but I'll know the boys will do us all proud," added Popham.
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