Shoulder injury forces England’s Clifford to retire
Jack Clifford, the Harlequins and England back-rower, has been forced to retire at the age of 27 due to injury.
Clifford suffered a shoulder dislocation in his 100th and now final game for Harlequins, against London Irish last September, and has since undergone two operations to repair the issue without success.
Clifford emerged as promising talent during his time with the England Under-20 side, captaining England to the 2013 Junior World Championship with a side who included Henry Slade, Jack Nowell, Anthony Watson and Luke CowanDickie.
He went on to be capped by Eddie Jones in the England head coach’s first game in charge in 2016, winning 10 caps and being part of the 2016 Grand Slam and unbeaten tour of Australia. He finishes his England career with a 100 per cent win record, having scored his only Test try when starting at No 8 against Wales in May 2016. Clifford said: “I am absolutely gutted to have to call time on my career at a relatively early stage.
“I have been at Quins since I was 13 years old and made so many good friends here. It has been an absolute pleasure training and playing with the lads each week and I will miss this environment greatly. I feel proud to have reached 100 appearances for Quins and it is ironic that the injury was sustained in my 100th game.”
Paul Gustard, the head of rugby, said: “It is with sadness that ‘Jackman’ has been forced to retire. I have been a huge fan of Jack from my days as an opposition coach and was delighted to be part of an England staff who awarded him his first of 10 England caps. He is first and foremost a great human being.”
Painful finale: Jack Clifford dislocated his shoulder in his 100th game for Harlequins