Sam Warburton has announced his retirement from professional rugby at the age of 29.

The flanker has had a glittering career in the game despite the fact it has been cut short due to several injury problems.

Warburton made his debut for the Cardiff Blues in 2009 and went on to make 175 appearances scoring 18 tries.

Warburton had a glittering international career, unrivalled by most Northern Hemisphere players in the last decade.

He made his Wales debut in 2009 against USA as a 19-year-old and that was only the beginning for one of the best 7’s to pull on the Welsh jersey.

He was named captain for the 2011 world cup in New Zealand when he was only 22. A superb tournament for Wales and Warburton will always be overshadowed by his controversial sending off against France in the semi-final.

Warburton won 74 caps for Wales with 49 as captain, which is a Welsh record, and scored 5 tries, and skippered back-to-back Six Nations Championship victories for Warren Gatland’s side.

Warburton’s greatest achievement in the game is no doubt his British & Irish Lions Career.

The Cardiff Blues man was captain on both tours of Australia and New Zealand in 2013 & 2017, in doing so became the second man to captain the side more than once (Martin Johnson).

The Lions won the series Down Under and got a famous draw last year against the All Blacks.

Neck and Knee surgeries have forced Warburton to call time on an illustrious career.

Warburton said "My body is unable to give me back what I had hoped for on my return to training,"

His influential national team coach and Welsh Rugby Legend Warren Gatland said "It is hugely disappointing that Sam has retired from the game. He is an outstanding rugby player and he has brought so much to the game on and off the pitch.”