Iain Balshaw: England World Cup winner announces retirement

Iain Balshaw
Iain Balshaw was part of the England team that won the World Cup in 2003

Former England full-back and 2003 World Cup winner Iain Balshaw has announced his retirement from rugby.

The 35-year-old, who won three Test caps for the Lions, has failed to recover from a knee injury sustained while playing for Biarritz in France.

His retirement means only one of England's 2003 World Cup-winning squad is still playing - Mike Tindall.

"After 16 months of unsuccessful rehab it is finally time to call it a day," Balshaw said on Twitter.external-link

Balshaw, who played for Bath, Leeds, Gloucester and Biarritz Olympique, made a total of 35 appearances for England, coming on as a substitute in the 2003 World Cup final 20-17 victory over Australia.

Iain Balshaw
Balshaw came on as a substitute as England defeated Australia to win the World Cup in 2003

"I would like to thank each and everyone of you, especially those at Bath, Leeds, Gloucester and Biarritz, who have played a part in the last 17 years," he said.

"Through you I have had some amazing experiences, travelled the world and made some life-long friends and for that I am truly grateful."

Blackburn-born Balshaw played for the British and Irish Lions on the 2001 tour of Australia.

He made his senior debut for Bath in 1997, going on to make 127 appearances at the club before moving to Leeds Tykes in 2004, where he won the Anglo-Welsh cup in 2005.

Following relegation from the Premiership in 2006 he switched to Gloucester, where he stayed for two seasons before moving to French Top 14 side Biarritz in the summer of 2009.