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Williams announces retirement

Harlequins have announced that wing Tom Williams is to retire from full-time rugby at the end of this season.

Williams, who has spent 13 years at Quins and made more than 200 first team appearances, is to join the club's coaching set-up with a role in their academy.

Williams was part of the infamous Bloodgate scandal in 2009, when he left the field after biting on a fake blood capsule during a Heineken Cup quarter-final against Leinster in order to facilitate a tactical substitution for goalkicker Nick Evans to rejoin the action.

The fall-out proved considerable, with Williams receiving a 12-month ban that was reduced to four months on appeal, while then Quins rugby director Dean Richards landed a three-year worldwide suspension and physiotherapist Steph Brennan was banned for two years.

Reflecting on the decision to step down from playing, 31-year-old Williams said: "Time and injury have caught up with me over the last two years, and while I may have one or two regrets, I can look back on my career with Harlequins with immense pride.

"Fortunately, I have been afforded an opportunity to influence the next generation of Quins players by being offered a role within the coaching staff.

"I am thrilled about the chance to keep working with all the players and staff at the club in the next chapter of my career, and I really can't wait to get started."

Quins rugby director Conor O'Shea added: "Tom has one of the best rugby brains there is. His ability to know where to stand in defence, and his lines of running in attack, remain an on-pitch rugby education to anyone.

"He will be missed as a player, but I know with his rugby intellect a fabulous coaching career awaits, and we look forward to watching him take those first steps at his one and only club."

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