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Rugby Union

Back injury forces Hanley into retirement

The former England winger Steve Hanley has retired after failing to recover from a back injury suffered during Sale's Challenge Cup victory against Bayonne last December.

Hanley, 29, won one England cap, against Wales in 1999, scoring a try. He scored a record 75 tries in the Premiership. The Cumbrian signed for the Sharks in 1998 and went on to score 104 tries in 191 games for the club.

"I have thoroughly enjoyed my time at Sale Sharks and have some great memories," he said. "I have however been struggling with a disc problem in my back since the Bayonne game and have received medical advice in that I will not recover enough to be able to play Premiership rugby again."

A former team-mate, Jason Robinson, said: "It was a pleasure to play in the same team as Steve. He is a great lad and, as his statistics show, one of the best finishers in the game."