LONDON IRISH’S George Skivington has been forced to call time on his professional rugby career after losing his battle with a shoulder injury.
The 33-year-old second-row made 68 appearances for Exiles following his move from Leicester Tigers in 2012 and was captain of the side until he picked up the injury during the 45-14 loss at Bath back in November.
Skivington had only signed a contract extension with the club in March, but is now sadly unable to fulfill such an obligation due to his enforced early retirement.
“I would like to say thank you to all those who have supported me throughout my playing career,” he said.
“Wasps, Leicester and London Irish have all been great environments in which to play my rugby and each club has been a unique experience.
“I have been proud to captain London Irish during the last three seasons and I know the club is in a good shape to return to the Premiership at the first time of asking.
“I would also like to thank Ealing Trailfinders and the Samoan national team for allowing me to gain valuable coaching experience during the last two years, which I hope to utilise going forward.
“Finally, I would like to thank my family, especially my wife, who has been there for me throughout my career.”
Skivington was a product of the Saracens Academy, but would go on to enjoy trophy-laden spells with Wasps, where he won four Premiership titles, before twice lifting the Heineken Cup with Leicester and then making the moved to Irish.
Head of rugby operations, Glenn Delaney, says his departure represents a big loss for the club, who are this week also coming to terms with the news Alex Lewington and Theo Brophy Clews are facing lengthy spells on the treatment table.
He said: “I’m bitterly disappointed for George, who has been a fantastic character to have at the club both on and off the field.
“He’s been a great advocate of the club and will be sorely missed by staff and supporters.
“We wish him and his family all the very best for the future.”