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Navidi hangs up his boots after brilliant career

Navidi

Wales flanker Josh Navidi has been forced to call time on a career that saw him lift the Guinness Six Nations title on two occasions.

The 32-year-old played in every match of the 2019 Grand Slam under Warren Gatland, before featuring heavily two years later as Wales claimed the title under the leadership of Wayne Pivac.

Navidi played in four games that year, including scoring a try against France, a game in which Brice Dulin’s last-gasp try denied Wales a second Slam in three years.

Navidi won 33 caps in all, while he was also selected to tour with the British & Irish Lions in 2021, with his last appearance coming last summer, also in South Africa.

In Wales’ third Test against the Springboks, Navidi suffered a serious neck injury, and in the end that issue has led to him hanging up his boots.

As well as his Wales and Lions success, Navidi was an influential figure for Cardiff Rugby, helping the side to the European Challenge Cup glory in 2018.

Reflecting on his retirement, Navidi said: “It is with great sadness but also an immense amount of pride that I am announcing my retirement from rugby.

“Although I knew this day would come eventually, I don’t think I was ever really able to prepare myself for how difficult it would be to put into words just how much of an impact the game has had on my life.

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“I am enormously grateful to everyone at Cardiff Rugby. I started my career with the club in 2009, and over those 14 years, there have been so many memories made that will stay with me for the rest of my life.

“Running out on to the Arms Park field with my teammates to our incredible supporters never grew old, and for this reason the club has always held a special place in my heart.

“From winning the Challenge Cup in Bilbao in 2018, to winning against Toulon in a packed-out Arms Park, every time I put on that blue shirt it was an honour, and I’d like to thank the staff over the years, our supporters, and the boys who I got to take the field with every week for making these moments possible.

“I will certainly miss playing but I am very proud of everything I have achieved in my career, whether with Cardiff, Wales or the British & Irish Lions, and I’m now looking forward to the next chapter beyond rugby.”