Shane Williams to be Ospreys ambassador after retiring

Shane Williams will take up an "ambassadorial" role with Ospreys when he retires at the end of the season.

BBC Wales Sport revealed on Wednesday that 34-year-old Williams had decided to end his playing career a year earlier than expected.

Ospreys were keen to maintain their relationship with the former Wales wing and have given him a role to promote the region once he hangs up his boots.

"My future with the Ospreys was never in doubt," said Williams.

"Things like this take time to sort out but I'm just delighted that I'm going to continue being a part of the region I love, the Ospreys."

Williams, who turns 35 in February, has a playing contract with the Ospreys until the end of the 2012-13 season.

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I'm looking forward to working closely with Shane the business man for the next 15 years

Mike Cuddy Ospreys managing director

But he has been increasingly focused on his future off the field in recent weeks, and has decided to bring forward his retirement plans.

Coaching has already been mentioned as a future career path, but his new role with Ospreys does not mention any direct coaching responsibilities.

"Shane has been a tremendous servant to the region throughout his long career and I've no doubt whatsoever that he can be an even bigger success off the field than he was on it," said Ospreys managing director Mike Cuddy.

"I'm looking forward to working closely with Shane the business man for the next 15 years, just as I have with Shane the rugby player for the last 15."

Williams is Wales' record try scorer, with 58 tries in 87 games for his country and two in four Tests for the British and Irish Lions.

To date has played 136 times for the Ospreys, scoring 54 tries in the process for the Swansea-based side.

During the forthcoming Six Nations, Williams will join the BBC team of pundits providing expert views and analysis on the championship.

Watch a special programme dedicated to Shane Williams on BBC Two Wales, Friday 3 February 2100 GMT.