Bath Rugby can confirm that prop David Barnes is retiring from rugby with immediate effect.
The decision has been made after following medical advice on a neck injury.
Since joining Bath in 2000, David has gone on to make 266 appearances for the Club, and captained the England Saxons in the 2006 Churchill Cup.
Technically strong and very experienced, David is a very well respected player in the rugby world, and has been chairman of the Rugby Players Association since 2005.
Speaking about the decision, David said “I have immensely enjoyed my rugby career and especially the time that I have spent at Bath.
“I was looking forward to fulfilling my playing contract with Bath till the end of next season, however after consultation with a medical specialist I have been advised that it is no longer possible for me to continue to play. Whilst it is extremely upsetting to be forced to end my playing career prematurely, I feel extremely fortunate to have been able to have run out at the Rec for the last 11 seasons and to have played alongside many great players in some truly memorable matches.
“I would like to thank everyone at Bath; the players, the coaches, the medical teams and all the staff, for making my time so enjoyable and especially the many supporters who ensure Bath remains a truly special club to be associated with.
“Throughout my career I have worked closely with the RPA Player Development Managers to develop additional skills in preparation for any career transition. I hope to bring those skills, in addition to my experience as a professional Rugby Player and RPA Chairman, to my next career and remain heavily involved in a rugby environment in the future.”
Director of Rugby, Sir Ian McGeechan, added “It is always sad when a player has to retire due to injury, especially one of David’s calibre. He is not only a very good player on the pitch, but he adds many things to the Bath squad off the pitch, which we will miss next season. We would like to wish him well with all his future endeavours, and thank him for the many games he has played in the blue, black and white.”
Whilst David has not finalised his plans for the future as yet, in the short term he will be taking part in the AXA Wealth Climb of Kilimanjaro in June, to raise money for Help for Heroes, and two rugby charities that look after severely injured players; the RPA Benevolent Fund and RFU Injured Players Foundation. For more information on how to support this, please visit www.axawealthclimb.co.uk