England international Sam Burgess has announced his immediate retirement from rugby league, his club said.
South Sydney Rabbitohs said their captain has been forced to quit the sport due to a chronic left shoulder injury.
The 30-year-old previously played for Bradford Bulls before appearing 182 times for the National Rugby League’s Rabbitohs from 2010.
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At the Redfern-based club he was joined by older brother Luke in 2011 and younger twin siblings George in 2012 and Thomas the following year.
Sam was part of the Souths side that won the 2014 Grand Final, suffering a fractured eye socket and cheek bone in the first tackle of the game but continued to play in the win over the Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs.
For his performance, he won the Clive Churchill medal as man of the match and remains the only non-Australian to claim the award.
Burgess said in a statement: “This decision was one of the hardest decisions I’ve had to make in my life, however the decision was out of my hands essentially.
“I am no longer able to be myself day in, day out on the training field and consequently the playing field.”
In 2014 Burgess was given the Rugby League International Federation’s International Player of the Year, and won South Sydney’s players’ player five times and its best and fairest on three occassions.
He also played 24 Tests for his country and had two appearances for Great Britain.
He had a brief sojourn from the sport when he switched to rugby union and represented Bath in 2014-15 as well as turning out for England during its home Rugby World Cup.
In his retirement statement he added: “I’d like to encourage everyone to smile as they read this.
“Let’s all remember what we have done together as a club over the past decade rather than what’s not to be in the coming years.”