Former All Black Aaron Mauger has announced his immediate retirement after failing to recover from a persistent back injury.
Skysports.com reports that Mauger had been due to leave Leicester Tigers at the end of the season in a bid to break back into the New Zealand team ahead of the 2011 World Cup.
However the 29-year-old has been forced to hang up his boots after losing his battle to return to full fitness.
“It is with great reluctance and disappointment that, due to ongoing complications with a back injury sustained 12 months ago, I announce my retirement from the game today,” said Mauger, who scored eight tries in 53 appearances for the Tigers.
“After many different specialist treatments in the UK and Germany, along with an intense rehab plan with the club medical staff at Leicester Tigers, I have been unable to regain full fitness and participate in full team training and games without re-injuring myself. So unfortunately retiring now seems the last but only realistic option available.
“I would like to thank the club and medical staff for their help over the last year and for their continued treatment and plan to rehabilitate me back to a normal level of function before my family and I depart home to New Zealand in June.
“I am gutted to be finishing my playing career many years before I had planned. This scenario also means I will have to let go of my aspirations of returning to play in New Zealand and my desire to compete for an All Black jersey again.Tweet