BATH, England (AP) — Former England hooker Lee Mears has been forced to retire from rugby on medical advice because of a heart condition.
Bath Rugby says an "abnormality" was detected on Mears' cardiac screening program and the problem could deteriorate "if he continues to perform the prolonged strenuous exercises required to be an elite rugby player."
The 33-year-old Mears played 42 matches for England, featuring in two World Cups, and also toured South Africa with the British and Irish Lions in 2009. He played 16 years for Bath.
Mears, who retired from international duty last year, says "this will be a tough period, but the memories I have and the friends I have made over the years will be of huge support."