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Last Updated: Saturday, 4 March 2006, 09:34 GMT
World Cup star Greenwood to quit
Will Greenwood
Greenwood scored five tries in the 2003 World Cup tournament
Former England and British & Irish Lions' centre Will Greenwood is to retire at the end of the season.

The 33-year-old World Cup winner, who won the last of 55 England caps against Australia in 2004, says this season with Harlequins will be his last.

"As hard as it has been for me to admit, the time has come to retire from the game that has always been part of my life," he told the Daily Telegraph.

"I understand the reasons. I'm getting slower - if that was possible."

Greenwood, a veteran of three Lions tours, scored 31 tries for England including five in their World Cup triumph, finishing as the tournament's joint top try-scorer.

But he believes his body will no longer allow him to "perform to the levels I wish".

"My body is falling apart: six operations, broken bones, a near-death experience, torn ligaments, dislocated shoulders and hamstrings tighter than guitar strings," he added.

Greenwood came to prominence with Leicester before moving to Harlequins in 2000.

The son of former England flanker and coach Dick Greenwood, he toured South Africa in 1997 - where he swallowed his tongue on the pitch after a collision - and Australia in 2001, where injury again wrecked his Test hopes.

Rugby has taken me on one hell of a journey
Will Greenwood

But he finally earned a Lions cap when he replaced Brian O'Driscoll just two minutes into the first Test against New Zealand last summer, and also played in the third Test.

"For a Blackburn lad who was only ever after a run-around with the lads, rugby has taken me on one hell of a journey," he said.

"Memories both good and bad, like Durban after winning the Lions series in 1997, and Auckland after we had lost a series 3-0.

"In Sydney on that famous night, but also in Paris in 1999 when our World Cup fell apart.

"It won't be easy, and I'd be lying if I said I wasn't nervous. My life in rugby has been great."


SEE ALSO
End of tour report for the Lions
11 Jul 05 |  Six Nations
Greenwood focused on Lions task
07 Jun 05 |  Six Nations
England revels in World Cup glory
22 Nov 03 |  Rugby World Cup


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