Woodman hopes to stay involved

England World Cup winner Trevor Woodman hopes to remain involved in rugby despite having confirmed the end of his playing career. [more]

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England World Cup winner Trevor Woodman hopes to remain involved in rugby despite having confirmed the end of his playing career.

The Sale Sharks prop has announced his retirement following a year-long injury battle.

Woodman suffered a lower back problem while training with Sale last September – and despite canvassing expert medical opinion at home and abroad, he has been forced to quit at the age of 29.

The ex-Gloucester forward won 22 Test caps, the highlight of which was England’s 2003 World Cup final triumph against Australia when he was part of the front-row alongside Steve Thompson and Phil Vickery.

"I believe I have done everything I can to come back from this injury, consulting a number of top physios both in this country and abroad," said Woodman.

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"It has been an incredibly frustrating time for me, but I have some great memories from rugby and hope that I will remain involved with the sport in some way."

Plymouth-born Woodman gained his England debut in a 1999 World Cup warm-up match against the USA at Twickenham – but he did not make the starting XV for another three years.

He then became a key member of Sir Clive Woodward’s plans, though, featuring in five games during the 2003 World Cup campaign when he started the semi-final, final and crucial pool stage victory over South Africa.

His final Test match appearance came last summer when England lost heavily to New Zealand in Auckland.

Andy Robinson, Woodward’s successor as England head coach, paid tribute to Woodman.

"On behalf of the England squad, I was very sorry to hear Trevor was retiring from rugby," said Robinson.

"He has been an outstanding player for club and country – and he made an important contribution to the success of the 2003 World Cup campaign.

"I would like to wish him every success in whatever he chooses to do in the future."

Woodman’s initial target is to continue with a re-habilitation programme aimed at reducing pain in his back, before looking at future career options.

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