Back injury forces Newport Gwent Dragons prop Ben Castle to quit
Newport Dragons Dragons prop Ben Castle has been forced to retire from rugby following a back injury.
The 32-year-old New Zealander suffered the injury in the Dragons game against Leinster in September 2011.
The former Chiefs front row joined the region from French giants Toulon in 2009 and has played 34 regional games.
"I'm very sad to have finished my rugby career in this fashion. I have thoroughly enjoyed being part of the Dragons," said Castle.
Castle's retirement comes in the same month that another Dragons front rower - captain and Hooker Tom Willis - was forced to quit the game with a hand injury.
Castle added: "My team-mates and the coaching staff here are a fantastic group of people and I will really miss being part of the setup at Rodney Parade.
"There are some really talented players here and I know that they have a great future ahead of them. I'd like to thank the supporters at Rodney Parade who are really special and wish everybody the best of luck for the future.
"I'm not going straight back to New Zealand and I will certainly be at the Dragons matches supporting the boys."
Dragons Director of Rugby Robert Beale said: "Ben's enforced retirement from the game is hugely disappointing for him as well as the Dragons.
"I'm sure everyone at the Dragons would join me in wishing Ben and his family good luck for the future."
The initial injury and premature retirement of our most experienced tight head prop has seen the Dragons relying heavily on its two young developing props as well as support from Bedwas RFC.