Ospreys and Wales wing Eli Walker has announced his retirement from the game with immediate effect at the age of just 25.
Despite the back three player’s best efforts to return following back surgery early in 2017, he has been unable to make a complete recovery to allow himself to get back to his previous level of performance.
In consultation with specialists, Walker made the decision that he had no option but to retire from professional rugby.
Speaking about his decision, Walker said: “It is extremely difficult thing to do, acknowledging and making the decision that you have to retire from the game but it is absolutely the right thing for me to do.
“I’ve worked hard to try to get back to where I was pre-surgery but, unfortunately, I recognise that I am not going to be able to do so.
“I’m thankful for the support I’ve had from my family and from the Ospreys during what has been a tough period for me personally. I’m immensely proud of everything I’ve achieved on the rugby pitch, be that playing for Swansea, representing my home region, the Ospreys, or gaining my full Wales cap and without the support of my mother, in particular, I wouldn’t have able to achieve anything like I have in my career.
“There are so many fantastic memories that will live with me forever and the sport has allowed me to meet some fantastic people who are now firm friends, and experience some great places. I consider myself fortunate.”