Alex Brown: Gloucester lock forced to retire through injury

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Brown will 'cherish' Kingsholm era

Gloucester lock Alex Brown has been forced to retire because of injury.

The 33-year-old has spent nearly a decade at Kingsholm but has not played since injuring his shoulder on the opening day of the Premiership season, in the 24-19 defeat by Northampton.

"It's a decision which has been taken out of my hands," the former Bristol player told BBC Points West.

"It's a horrendous day but I've got some huge memories of Kingsholm and the time I've spent playing here."

He added: "It's been a fantastic experience which I know I'll look back on and cherish."

Brown signed from rivals Bristol in 2003 and has gone on to make 235 appearances for the Cherry and Whites.

He made his senior international debut for England during their 2006 summer tour and also played twice against South Africa the following year.

Brown, who was contracted at Gloucester until 2013, suffered an injury to his other shoulder last season, which restricted him to 12 appearances, but had managed to regain fitness for this year's campaign.

However, he was taken off after 59 minutes of play against the Saints in September following a heavy tackle and was told he would be out for the season.

Brown underwent an operation shortly after and although the surgery was a success, he was told he was no longer able to play.

"It was a one-off hit and that was it," he said. "I had pain running through my arm and a lack of sensation. I knew I'd done something quite bad but I didn't know to what scale at that point.

"I thought it was something that would fix itself over time. But I soon realised it was something quite serious. It's gutting it's ended this way."