Joe Worsley has been forced to retire from the game with immediate effect due to a neck problem, his club Wasps have announced.
The former England number eight has made the decision after failing to recover from the injury sustained last season.
"Since March I have been following medical and rehab advice but it hasn't helped," said Worsley.
Worsley admitted his future looked bleak from the moment he was dropped from England's training squad for the recent World Cup, denying him participation in his fourth tournament.
The 34-year-old, who could cover all three back-row positions and was feared for his ferocious defence, was left with no option but to hang up his boots.
"Last season I suffered an injury to my neck that has effectively ended my career," he said.
"Restarting contact work during the England World Cup camp made it obvious that I could not continue.
"My life as a rugby player started at Welwyn under-nines and finished in an England training session - I want to say thanks to everyone who helped me on that path. I'm proud of what I achieved and how I played the game."
Worsley was capped 78 times by England and made one appearance for the Lions, against South Africa in 2009.
The 2003 World Cup winner played over 300 times for Wasps in a career spanning almost two decades, lifting the Heineken Cup twice and clinching the Aviva Premiership title four times.