Injury forces Cairns to retire

Harlequins’ former England hooker Matt Cairns has been forced to retire from rugby by a persistent ankle injury.

Cairns, 34, joined Quins in 2009 and has made 30 appearances for the club.

“Rugby has been such a massive part of my life, so the fact that my career has ended sooner than expected has been difficult to accept,” he admitted.

“While I will miss the camaraderie of the great players I’ve played with, I have lots of happy memories.

“The fact that my playing career is over is still sinking in and I’m still deciding what’s best for my family and myself.”

Harlequins director of rugby Conor O’Shea said: “Matt has been a great servant, not just to the club but also to the game of rugby.

“Retirement on medical grounds is difficult to come to terms with – especially when it is unexpected.

“All of our players, staff and supporters wish Matt welll. We will support him during this transition from playing to whatever his new career will be.”

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