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Neck injury forces Payne retirement

Former England prop Tim Payne has been forced to retire on medical advice after he suffered a neck injury at the end of last season.

The 34-year-old won 22 caps for England, played for the British and Irish Lions on the 2009 tour of South Africa after being called up as a replacement, and made 266 appearances for Wasps.

Payne retires after a decade at Wasps, the club he joined from Coventry in 2003, having won three Aviva Premiership titles, two Heineken Cup crowns and the Powergen Cup. "I am gutted that I have been forced to call it a day," Payne said.

"I was injured towards the end of the season and not recovering from it wasn't something I saw coming, but I accept that is the nature of the game.

"That doesn't however make it any less disappointing for me.

"I feel I have been hugely fortunate in my career to play in some great teams with great players and winning titles with Wasps is something I have immense pride in alongside representing my country and the British and Irish Lions."

Payne plans to stay involved in rugby.

Wasps director of rugby Dai Young said: "Tim has been a superb servant to Wasps for over 10 years and he has been an important player through good times and bad for this club."

"I speak for everyone when I say we wish him all the best in the next stage of his life."

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