London - England and Toulon prop Andrew Sheridan has been forced to retire with immediate effect after failing to recover from a neck injury.
The 34-year-old, capped 40 times by England and twice by the British and Irish Lions, sustained the injury last season and underwent surgery in February.
Sheridan's management company James Grant said in a statement that "their client Andrew Sheridan has retired from rugby with immediate effect on medical grounds".
"Andrew, 34, has failed to recover from the neck injury he sustained last season playing for Toulon and the subsequent operation he underwent, back in February," it said.
"Capped 40 times by England and twice by the British and Irish Lions, Andrew will now focus on completing his qualifications in wine before looking to forge a new career in the trade."
Sheridan started the 2007 World Cup final against South Africa in Paris and his last England appearance came against Argentina during the 2011 World Cup campaign in New Zealand.
The towering prop, regarded as one of the most powerful and destructive scrummagers in world rugby at his peak, joined Toulon in 2012 after nine years with Premiership club Sale Sharks, helping them win the league title and European Challenge Cup following spells at Richmond and Bristol.
He made his England debut against Canada in 2004, and he was then selected for the Lions tour to New Zealand six months later, playing in five midweek matches, but no Tests. He went on to win two Lions caps in South Africa in 2009.
The Australian front-row particularly felt the full force of his scrummaging quality, being on the receiving end more than once, but notably during a 2007 World Cup quarter-final clash in Marseille when England won and he was named man-of-the-match.
Sheridan featured in all seven games during that World Cup campaign, which culminated in England losing 15-6 to South Africa at Stade de France.
Sheridan's retirement means just three members of that England starting XV are still playing professional rugby - Leicester back Mathew Tait, Sale wing Mark Cueto and Harlequins number eight Nick Easter.
Sheridan went on to gain selection for England's miserable 2011 World Cup excursion, but a shoulder injury suffered against Argentina ended his tournament prematurely.