London - Newport Gwent Dragons' former Wales fullback Lee Byrne has been forced to retire due to a shoulder injury, the 34-year-old announced on Thursday.
The former British and Irish Lion, who also played for Scarlets, Ospreys and Clermont, made his international debut in 2005 and went on to make 46 appearances for Wales, with whom he won the Six Nations Grand Slam in 2008.
He joined the Dragons last year and was subsequently appointed captain, but after undergoing shoulder surgery in November, he has been obliged to call time on his career.
"This is a disappointing time for me, but I'm looking forward to the future," Byrne said in a statement on the Dragons website.
"I'm not sure what the next chapter holds or even what I want to do, but I am planning on taking some down time over the next few weeks to look at my opportunities, whether that's in rugby or a new career.
"I would like to take this opportunity to thank my wife, family, and friends for their support over the years.
"I'm frustrated to be in this position, but I'm happy to have enjoyed my time in the game having fulfilled all my rugby ambitions at both club and international level.
"I have made terrific friends and have had incredible experiences."
Dragons rugby director Lyn Jones said: "Lee is a fantastic rugby player and has been a great influence on many of our younger players.
"He will be missed both on and off the pitch, and I know that everyone here at the Newport Gwent Dragons wish him all the best in the future."