Injured Bath prop David Barnes retires

David Barnes

Barnes's last game came against Gloucester on 5 March

Bath prop David Barnes has been forced to retire from the game because of a neck injury.

The 34-year-old, who is in his testimonial year, joined Bath from Harlequins and made 266 appearances.

The former England Saxons captain has been chairman of the Rugby Players' Association  since 2005.

He said: "After consultation with a medical specialist I have been advised that it is no longer possible for me to continue to play."

He added: "I have immensely enjoyed my rugby career and especially the time that I have spent at Bath.

"I was looking forward to fulfilling my playing contract with Bath till the end of next season. Whilst it is extremely upsetting to be forced to end my playing career prematurely, I feel extremely fortunate to have been able to have run out at the Rec for the last 11 seasons and to have played alongside many great players in some truly memorable matches.

"I would like to thank everyone at Bath; the players, the coaches, the medical teams and all the staff, for making my time so enjoyable and especially the many supporters who ensure Bath remains a truly special club to be associated with."

Barnes's last appearance came as a 15-minute substitute in the 34-22 defeat at Gloucester on 5 March.