Walker forced to retire

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Last Updated: 02/03/18 3:23pm

Eli Walker has retired following medical advice

Eli Walker has retired following medical advice

Ospreys and Wales winger Eli Walker has been forced to retire from rugby at the age of 25.

Walker underwent back surgery last season but has been unable to make a complete recovery.

He retires with immediate effect after consultation with specialists.

"It is an 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," said Walker.

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"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."

Eli Walker won his one Wales cap against Ireland in 2015

Eli Walker won his one Wales cap against Ireland in 2015

Walker scored 23 tries in 81 appearances for the Ospreys and was part of the PRO12-winning team in 2012.

He was called by Wales at all age-grade levels and made his sole senior appearance against Ireland in a World Cup warm-up in 2015.

Walker's last appearance for the Ospreys was in a 31-7 win against Cardiff Blues in the Anglo-Welsh Cup in November 2016.

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.

Eli Walker

Ospreys managing director Andrew Millward said: "Everyone is saddened by this news. Eli is someone who came through the development system and was identified at a young age as having the potential to become a senior player for the region and for Wales with his physical attributes and rugby ability marking him out as someone with a bright future.

"He established a reputation as a quality finisher of the highest level and enjoyed many standout moments in an Ospreys shirt, his try in the unforgettable win over Toulouse at the Liberty Stadium summing up his ability.

"It is a real shame for Eli, and for the Ospreys, that injury has cut short his career before even reaching what should be his prime. However, he should be proud of what he has done in the black shirt and how he has represented himself, his family and the region.

"Always a fans favourite, he has given us all some special moments to remember and will always be thought of as a true Osprey."

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