April 11, 2017 / 9:36 AM / in 3 months

Back injury forces Leicester Tigers prop Ayerza to retire

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Rugby Union - Leicester Tigers v Benetton Treviso - European Rugby Champions Cup Pool Four - Welford Road - 15/16 - 16/1/16 Marcos Ayerza of Leicester Tigers Mandatory Credit: Action Images / John Clifton

(Reuters) - Leicester Tigers and Argentina prop Marcos Ayerza has retired from professional rugby after being advised to end his playing career due to a back injury, the English Premiership club said on Tuesday.

The 34-year-old Ayerza, who last played for the club against Harlequins in November 2016, made 246 appearances during his 11 years at Leicester, winning four Premiership titles.

"It is very sad when an injury suddenly finishes your career... but it is time to face new challenges in my life, turn over the page, as hard as that is, and I wish the Tigers all the very best for the future," Ayerza said in a statement.

Ayerza ran out 66 times for Argentina, playing in three World Cups, including in 2007 when he helped the Pumas to third place in his first tournament.

"Marcos has been an outstanding representative of the club on and off the field in more than 10 years at Tigers," Leicester chairman Peter Tom said.

"He has been at the very heart of the Tigers squad for the last 11 seasons and continually worked hard on his game while also assisting those around him."

Reporting by Aditi Prakash in Bengaluru; editing by Richard Lough

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