Wales hooker Huw Bennett forced to hang up boots because of injury
Wales hooker Huw Bennett has retired after giving up in his bid to recover from a long-term Achilles injury.
Last Updated: 26/06/13 4:38pm
Bennett, 30, who won 51 caps for his country, has not played in 16 months after leaving their Six Nations clash with Scotland at the Millennium Stadium in February 2012 with an injury he could never clear.
The ex-Ospreys front-rower joined Lyon last summer but never managed a game for the French club after going through the agony of three surgeries trying to get back to full fitness.
"My last game was for Wales against Scotland at the Millennium Stadium and I had to come off because I could not walk, let alone run," he said. "Little did I know then it would be my last game, but it is not a bad stadium to mark that occasion.
"I did not manage to bow out on my own terms, but it is something I have had to accept. Rugby has given me a lot. I was lucky to play in three World Cups and be part of two Grand Slam campaigns and reach the milestone of 50 caps.
"I have been involved in some great games and perhaps my most memorable was the first Six Nations match against England in 2008 when we were written off but went to Twickenham and won. There were 13 Ospreys in the starting side and the papers branded the game as a country against the region.
"The World Cup in New Zealand in 2011 was special because in the two previous tournaments I did not start a game. To be involved in the starting side, and have a great tournament in getting to the semi-finals in a country where they love the game, was amazing.
"I also spent nine great years with the Ospreys and I would like to thank all the players, fans and coaches who have always supported me. I will always have special pride in saying I am one of the Ospreys originals when they came together in 2003.
"So I have been lucky to have many good experiences and I can look back with great pride. I enjoyed working hard to get where I am. I appreciate how lucky I have been to experience winning trophies and travel the world.
"I have always set my goals high but if you had told me 10 years ago what I have achieved I would have taken it. I have enjoyed every minute of it and now I am looking forward to my next goals."