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Last Updated: Monday, 1 October 2007, 08:07 GMT 09:07 UK
Flanker Williams ends Wales duty
Martyn Williams
Williams scored his 13th try for Wales in his final game against Fiji
Wales flanker Martyn Williams has retired from international rugby.

The 32-year-old played all four games of Wales' disastrous 2007 World Cup campaign, taking his caps tally to 76.

"I just think it's the right time to step aside," he told the Western Mail. "I've had 11 years and I have achieved way more than I thought I would.

"It's been an honour and a privilege to play for Wales. It's meant a hell of a lot to me, but everything has to come to an end and that is me done now."

Williams' retirement leaves Wales without an obvious replacement to fill the open-side role he had made his own over recent seasons.

606: DEBATE

He was Wales' only recognised number seven in the World Cup squad, and started all of the four pool games, scoring three tries.

But Saturday's defeat to 38-34 Fiji, which resulted in Wales' early exit from the competition, will be his last for his country.

"It's not the way I would have wanted it to end," said Williams, whose late try against the Fijians had put Wales in front for the first time.

"I couldn't think of a worse way for it to finish to be honest, but that is how the cards fall some times."

Williams made his Wales debut against the Barbarians in 1996, and his work-rate and ball-handling skills soon made him a stalwart of the side.

He captained the side on five occasions, but he turned down the chance to lead Wales at the 2003 World Cup because he felt he lacked the necessary experience.

The defining moment of his Wales career came in the 2005 Grand Slam success, where a string of superb performances earned him the player of the tournament award and selection on the Lions tour to New Zealand.

Williams hopes to play for Cardiff Blues for at least another two seasons, and intends to spend more time on training to become a commercial banker.

WRU group chief executive Roger Lewis paid tribute to Williams' career, saying: "I'm sure everyone would want to thank Martyn for being a total servant of the game.

"No-one could ask more of a player such as Martyn Williams."



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