Oct 17 2012
Wasps have announced that their second-row forward Richard Birkett has been forced to retire because of injury.
Birkett, 33, suffered a neck injury during Wasps' Premiership A League game against Saracens Storm earlier this year.
He made more than 250 appearances for Wasps and was part of the club's 2004 Heineken Cup-winning squad, in addition to helping them win four Premiership titles.
"After 14 years of rugby with London Wasps, my body has unfortunately given up on me," said Birkett, who has stepped down on medical advice.
"However, I leave the game content in the fact that I was a part of an amazing era in Wasps' history."
Wasps rugby director Dai Young added: "In the modern game it is very rare that a player will stay with a club for their whole career, but 'Birky' has been a key component of this club for a 14-year period and he will be a loss to us.
"He formed a tremendous (second-row) partnership with Simon Shaw throughout a very successful period for the club.
"Although he didn't get the international recognition that others in that side did, he was a fundamental part of their success and he will go down as a true Wasps great."