(Updates with WRU statement)
LONDON, April 11 Wales hooker Lloyd Burns has
been forced to retire because of a neck injury which may lead to
heart surgery, his club Newport Gwent Dragons said on Wednesday.
A club statement said tests from the injury showed damage to
the aorta, the body's largest artery, "with possible heart
surgery to follow".
Burns, 27, who won seven Wales caps, has not played since
January. He made three appearances at last year's World Cup in
Dragons' Director of Rugby Robert Beale said on the club's
website (www.newportgwentdragons.com) that Burns's enforced
retirement came "as a massive shock to Lloyd and his family".
Welsh Rugby Union head of rugby Joe Lydon added: "Of course
the most important issue for Lloyd is his continued good health
but he can look back on a playing career in which he truly
proved his potential."
Last month, the sporting world was shocked when English
Premier League soccer player Fabrice Muamba, of Bolton
Wanderers, collapsed on the field after a cardiac arrest during
an FA Cup tie against Tottenham Hotspur.
Muamba is expected to be discharged from hospital within the
next week but no decision has been made about whether he will be
able to resume playing.
(Reporting by Mike Collett; Editing by Alison Wildey)