Wales legendary winger Shane Williams has opened up on his struggles since hanging up his boots, having last played for Wales in 20211.
His countries record try-scorer, Williams finished playing professionally seven years ago, but does still play the odd match for his local team.
“I knew there was going to be a big void in my life once rugby had gone,” he told the Mirror. “Not playing was something I absolutely dreaded.
“It’s the camaraderie of the day to day stuff you miss the most. I struggled without it, I really did.
“People always think ‘you played rugby or football, you earned quite a bit of money, you did quite well, you must be fine’,” he said. “But everyone has their problems. Money doesn’t solve everything, I can assure you.
“We all cry, whether we’re a 6’11 second row or a 5’6 winger that used to play for Wales. We all get upset, depressed, suffer from anxiety in some shape or form.
“You go from spending almost every day – breakfast, lunch, sometimes dinner – with these boys around you,” he added.
“Then one day they’re not there any more. It can be very, very lonely.
“I’ve spoken to a lot of lads that have really struggled and at times been in dark places. Some are still struggling five to 10 years after retiring. As a sport we need to look out for each other more.”
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Winger: Bryan Habana (South Africa)
Williams said: “My first choice– I had some great battles with Bryan in my time. He’s won Rugby World Cup’s, player of the year, try of the year…everything there is to win.”