Ben Flower: Ex-Wigan Warriors and Wales prop retires from rugby league

Former Wigan and Wales forward Ben Flower has announced his retirement, aged 33.

The Cardiff-born prop won 17 caps, captained his country against England in 2009 and played for Wales in the 2011 Four Nations and 2013 World Cup.

Flower made 222 Super League appearances, 168 of them with Wigan, where he won three Grand Finals and a Challenge Cup, although he will be best remembered as the first player to be sent off in a Grand Final.

He was given a six-month ban for a hit on stand-off Lance Hohaia in the early stages of Wigan’s defeat by St Helens in the 2014 title decider and later expressed his regret, saying: “I hated myself for what I did.”

Flower began his rugby league career with Crusaders in 2008 and ended it with Leigh but made only one substitute appearance for them since April due to injury.

Flower said on social media: “It’s finally my time to call it a day in rugby league and to say it’s been a blast is an understatement. For all the injuries and knocks it’s all been worth it.

“As a kid, you never think this day will come when you become a professional, but unfortunately it does.”

Wales Rugby League chairman Brian Juliff said: “Everyone at Wales Rugby League would like to thank Ben for all his hard work at community, club and international level throughout his career.”


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