Former Worcester Warriors second row Richard Blaze will turn his attention to coaching after being forced to give up rugby.
The Birmingham-born Leicester lock, who also spent a year at Moseley, announced his retirement from the sport after losing his two year battle with a foot injury.
The 25-year-old spent the last three seasons of his career at Welford Road and was named in England’s Elite Player Squad in 2009.
But, after sustaining a stress fracture to an important weight-bearing bone, he has had to bring down the curtain on a promising career that saw him represent his country at Saxons, Under 19 and 21 levels.
However, he is determined to remain in the sport and will now focus on his role as assistant forwards coach with National Two North leaders Loughborough Students.
“I have done my level one and two qualifications and will do level three next, as well as trying to help Loughborough win promotion to National One,” Blaze said.
“It’s obviously disappointing to have to retire because I love rugby and I did not reach all the goals I had set for myself.
“I wanted to play for my country on a regular basis and win lots of things at a domestic level.”
But unlike another Sixways academy product George Crook, who was also recently forced to quit the game early through injury, Blaze admitted he was not shocked when the bad news arrived.
“It had always been in the back of my mind. There was always the danger I was going to break down again.
“I had a long chat with Harry Ellis, who has also had to give up, and we both talked about having to take pain killers just to get through the day.
“We’d do a heavy session on a Tuesday and then not be able to walk properly for two days.
“You want to impress the coaches and show you can do it but it’s almost like living a lie.
“You are almost institutionalised and when you lose that structure you are a little bit lost. I don’t know if I’ll go back to education at some stage ,but I do know I want to stay in the sport.”