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Page last updated at 11:30 GMT, Thursday, 3 April 2008 12:30 UK

Injured Chief hangs up his boots

Tony Walker
Chiefs flanker Tony Walker is to retire after 11 years of rugby (Getty)

Exeter Chiefs' Tony Walker has retired from rugby after suffering a second serious knee injury in eight months.

The Kiwi flanker's decision ends an 11-year career, including four seasons with the Chiefs.

The 33-year-old wants to stay in Exeter and is considering a new career related to the sport.

"I've been coached by some of the best and had a lot of good times in rugby," said Walker. "I would love to pass that on in some way in the future."

Chiefs director of rugby Pete Drewett said: "Tony has been an inspirational player for Exeter Chiefs both on and off the pitch.

"He is highly respected by players and management alike and has made a massive contribution to this club since he joined us."

Walker wants to continue his rehabilitation on his knee with the Chiefs' medical team and stay involved with the club.

"I wish Exeter Rugby Club all the best for the future and their push to become a Premiership club, and I hope to be there to help in their success," said Walker.

He also praised the supporters, describing them as the "backbone" of the club.

"My only regret is that I was not able to walk off the pitch after a game and clap and thank the supporters of Exeter Chiefs for their fantastic support," he added.

see also
Chiefs agree new deals with seven
01 Apr 08 |  Rugby Union
Chiefs flanker out for the season
25 Feb 08 |  Rugby Union

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