Bath's Andy Beattie retires from rugby due to ankle injury

Bath Rugby's long-serving back row Andy Beattie has retired from rugby with immediate effect following an ankle injury.

The 33-year-old, who has spent 11 years at the club, made the decision after consulting two specialists about the injury he picked up in January.

"I am obviously gutted not to be able to carry on playing the game I love," he told Bath's official website. 

"I have been very lucky to play for such a long time at a club like Bath."

Beattie joined Bath from Exeter in 2001 and has made 238 appearances, 10 of them this season, in the club's colours.

The London-born player broke his leg and damaged ankle ligaments on England A duty in 2005 but returned to action and signed a new contract at The Rec in 2006 and another in 2009.

His last game was Bath's 23-18 home win against Glasgow in Pool Three of the Heineken Cup on 21 January.

He added: "I'd like to thank everyone that's helped me throughout my career, from team-mates, to coaches, to the physios who have put me back together a few times.

"I'd also like to thank the faithful Bath fans who have supported myself and the team throughout the years.

"Rugby will always mean a great deal to me, but I'm looking forward to the new challenges that lie ahead."