Yorkshire Carnegie’s former England Sevens captain Rob Vickerman has been forced to retire at the age of 29 with a neck injury.
Leeds-born Vickerman debuted for his hometown club in October 2005, and returned to the club last season after spells with Newcastle Falcons and as one of the first players to be contracted to play for the England Sevens.
He made 69 appearances for Leeds/Yorkshire and also captained England to the Sevens World Cup final in Russia in 2013.
Vickerman, who has been advised on mediacal grounds to call time on his career, said: “Ultimately, it’s sad to be included in the growing number of players having to retire prematurely.
“I can’t think of any superlative that justifies my content from looking back at my career.
“I’ve played with and against the top players in the game and I’ve being coached and developed by some of the world’s best rugby leaders.
“I’ve spent every day training for a passion and hobby, and got to call it a job. It is a perspective and honour I’ve never lost sight of.
“I would like to thank my wife, Gemma, and my family first and foremost; and the staff, coaches, players and supporters who have helped me over the years at Leeds, Newcastle and with England.
“I have been fortunate to work with some outstanding leaders in their own particular field and I hope to put those lessons into good practice in future.”