London - Fiji's veteran rugby union international Netani Talei is to retire on medical advice after a long injury, he said on Thursday.
The 34-year-old backrow forward, capped 33 times including appearances at three World Cups, has been out of action for his English Premiership club Harlequins for almost a year and a half with a knee injury.
"After 17 months out of the game spent rehabbing and draining fluid from my knee, it was advised by a consultant that retirement is the best option for me," he said on the club website.
"I would like to thank Harlequins for their patience and show my gratitude to the medical staff who have continually monitored my rehab and training.
"Now that the final whistle in my career has blown -- after representing my country in both 7s and 15s, participating in three Rugby World Cups, and playing over 200 senior club rugby games -- another challenge in life arises for me in the health and fitness industry.
"Rugby has made me the person I am today. I am forever grateful and will cherish every moment of it."
Talei, part of the Fiji team that memorably beat Wales 38-34 in their 2007 World Cup pool match, was restricted to eight senior appearances for Harlequins because of his long-term injury.
However, Harlequins director of rugby John Kingston praised the Fijian for the character he had shown.
"It is always such a shame when a player's career is taken away with injury and this is no different for Netani," said Kingston.
"He has had an incredibly frustrating 17 months but he has shown excellent character and determination during that period."