Williams to retire in May

2012-02-03 12:07

Cardiff - Wales great Shane Williams will retire from all rugby in May, his club, the Ospreys, announced on Thursday.

The 34-year-old wing bowed out of Tests following Wales's defeat by Australia in Cardiff in May after scoring a Wales record 58 tries in 87 international matches.

His playing contract with Welsh regional side the Ospreys was not due to expire until the end of the 2012/13 season but he will now take up an ambassadorial role with the side at the end of the current campaign for an initial two-year period, as well as pursuing a career in the media.

"My future with the Ospreys was never in doubt," Williams said. "Things like this take time to sort out, but I am just delighted that I'm going to continue being a part of the region I love, the Ospreys."

Ospreys managing director Mike Cuddy added: "Shane has been a tremendous servant to the region throughout his long career, and I've no doubt whatsoever that he can be an even bigger success off the field than he was on it.

"I'm looking forward to working closely with Shane the businessman for the next 15 years, just as I have with Shane the rugby player for the last 15."

Williams, the International Rugby Board's player of the year in 2008, was also selected for the British and Irish Lions tours of New Zealand in 2005 and South Africa in 2009.

The diminutive flyer made his Test debut against France in 2000 and went on to help Wales win Six Nations Grand Slams in 2005 and 2008, as well as playing in three World Cups, including last year's edition in New Zealand where he helped his country reach the semi-finals.

Wales play their first match since Williams's international retirement when they open their 2012 Six Nations campaign away to Ireland on Sunday.