Shane Williams: Former Wales wing announces retirement

Shane Williams
Shane Williams featured on three tours with the British and Irish Lions

Former Wales wing Shane Williams has confirmed his retirement from rugby to focus on a coaching career.

Williams scored 58 tries in 91 appearances for Wales before quitting international rugby in 2011.

The 37-year-old was planning to retire after leaving the Ospreys in 2012 but prolonged his career in Japan with Mitsubishi Dynaboars.

He tweeted: "My 3 years in Japan with Mitsubishi have been amazing but after this season it's time to come home!"

Williams started his junior career as a scrum-half at Amman United RFC, but after going professional with Neath was converted to play on the wing under then-coach Lyn Jones.

When Wales adopted regional rugby in 2003 it was natural that Williams became an Osprey, with the new side created by a merger between Neath and local rivals Swansea.

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Shane Williams scores last try for Wales

Williams earned his first cap off the bench against France in Wales' opening game of the 2000 Six Nations, then scored his first Test try in his first full start against Italy.

During his time playing for his country Williams enjoyed two Grand Slams, the first in 2005 that ended Wales' 27-year wait for a championship clean sweep, and then again in 2008.

In 2008 he was named the International Rugby Board Player of the Year.

After playing for Wales at the 2011 Rugby World Cup, Wales' record try scorer bowed out of the international stage after scoring a try in his final game against Australia.

Williams was also called up for two Lions tours, the first in 2005 to New Zealand and then to South Africa in 2009.

He was a surprise call-up into Warren Gatland's Lions squad of 2013 during the tour of Australia and played in a warm-up match against ACT Brumbies.

Williams left the Ospreys at the end of the 2011-12 season after scoring a late try in his final game to secure the Pro12 title against Leinster.

A lucrative offer from Japanese side Dynaboars persuaded Williams to continue, where he combined playing with coaching duties.

Reports have linked him with a coaching role at Neath, but Williams denied this to be the case.

"It's the first I've heard about it to be honest," said Williams.

"I'd love to get back involved with rugby in Wales whether it's going to be straight away I don't think so."

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