Wales ex-captain Owen retires

Former Wales captain Michael Owen has been forced to retire from rugby because of injury.

The back-row forward, who won 41 caps and led Wales during the 2005 Six Nations title and Grand Slam-winning campaign, has twice undergone surgery on his right knee.

The 29-year-old, a 2005 British and Irish Lion in New Zealand, had hoped to relaunch his career next season following a spell with Saracens. But he has been forced to concede defeat.

"I was trying to find a club, but I failed medicals at a couple and that's when I knew the writing was on the wall," Owen said yesterday. "If clubs aren't prepared to sign you, you know you've got a real problem."

Leeds Carnegie have made their second summer signing from French club Brive. The Australian back Lachlan MacKay will follow the England hooker Steve Thompson to the Premiership side after agreeing a two-year deal.

Sydney-born MacKay can play fly-half or centre, and he also has experience of the southern hemisphere's Super 14 competition. "I am looking forward to catching up with Steve again," MacKay said. "I spoke to him when Leeds made me an offer and we both admitted there were some exciting times ahead at the club."

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