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Page last updated at 17:31 GMT, Wednesday, 20 May 2009 18:31 UK

Harrison retires after Bath exit

Lock Justin Harrison
Harrison still had seven months left on his contract at Bath

Justin Harrison has announced his retirement from rugby after leaving Bath by mutual consent.

The 35-year-old requested an early release from his contract at The Rec following an alleged incident during the club's end-of-season party.

The club's investigation into the fracas is still ongoing.

"I would like to thank all of the coaches, players and supporters that have helped me through my rugby career," Harrison said.

Bath confirmed on Wednesday that former Australia lock Harrison had asked to be released "due to personal reasons" and that they had agreed to his request.

Harrison had been due to play for the Barbarians against England on Saturday 30 May but he has withdrawn from the squad.

"I have welcomed the journey of a truly international sport and have enjoyed meeting the many varied people along the way," he added.

"I look forward to exploring any opportunities that the future holds."

Harrison joined Bath from Ulster on a one-year deal last summer and signed a 12-month extension in December.

Bath chief executive Bob Calleja launched the investigation following allegations that a number of the squad were involved in a fracas with Harlequins players.

The incident occurred the day after their Guinness Premiership semi-final defeat by Leicester on Sunday, 10 May.

Bath are also looking into separate claims linked to drugs use in their squad.

Two weeks ago, Harrison was cleared of a gouging incident involving Saracens skipper Steve Borthwick.

The charge was dismissed by a Rugby Football Union disciplinary panel on 5 May with the Australian allowed to continue playing.



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