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Balshaw calls it a day

Iain Balshaw has announced his retirement from professional rugby.

The former England full-back and 2003 World Cup winner has failed to recover from a knee injury sustained while playing for Biarritz in France.

"After 16 months of unsuccessful rehab it is finally time to call it a day," Balshaw said on Twitter.

"I would like to thank each and everyone of you, especially those at Bath, Leeds, Gloucester and Biarritz, who have played a part in the last 17 years.

"Through you I have had some amazing experiences, travelled the world and made some life-long friends and for that I am truly grateful."

Balshaw, 35, made 35 appearances for England and came on as a substitute in the 2003 World Cup final defeat of Australia. He also won three Test caps for the British and Irish Lions in 2001.

Balshaw made his senior debut for Bath in 1997, going on to make 127 appearances at the club before moving to Leeds, who he left for Gloucester in 2006. He joined Biarritz five years ago.

The 35-year-old's retirement means only one of England's 2003 World Cup-winning squad is still playing, Mike Tindall.

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