Bath Rugby back row Andy Beattie has been forced to retire from rugby with immediate effect due to an ankle injury.
This decision has been made following advice from two medical specialists and comes after 11 years and 238 appearances, including a combined total of 59 in the Heineken Cup and the Amlin Challenge Cup.
A fiercely committed and competitive player, Andy has become a key member of the Bath squad in his time at the club. His physical, abrasive attitude has often set the tone for some outstanding performances.
Commenting on the decision, Beattie said: "I am obviously gutted not to be able to carry on playing the game I love, but having sought medical advice I have to take it seriously. I've had a fantastic career, and have been very lucky to be able to play for such a long time at a club like Bath.
"I'd like to thank everyone that's helped me throughout my career, from teammates, to coaches, to the physios who have put me back together a few times! I'd also like to thank the faithful Bath fans who have supported myself and the team throughout the years. Rugby will always mean a great deal to me, but I'm looking forward to the new challenges that lie ahead."
Director of Rugby at Bath, Sir Ian McGeechan, added: "Andy has been a great servant to both Bath and the game in general, and we are obviously sad that he has been forced to retire through injury. He is a very well respected, professional player, whose attitude and commitment to the club sets a great example to any young player. He has always given his all, whether in a game, in training or on other club duties. He should be proud of the career he's had, and we wish him all the best with the next stage in his career."
The directors of ERC voted unanimously at a Board meeting to postpone all decisions including the release of further instalments of ERC's distributable central revenues to the six shareholder countries until 19 February next when the Board will meet again to reconsider the issue.