Swinton prop Ben Austin has retired from the game upon specialist medical advice.
The 24-year-old made 101 career appearances for Swinton between 2015-19. He came through the academy at hometown club Wigan before linking up with the Lions.
Austin said: “This is not the news I ever expected to be sharing or coming to terms with, but after a long talk with the surgeon last week he came to the conclusion that if I return to contact sport there’s around a 75% chance that I will need another operation on my neck in one to two years.
“Although my operation was a success in February, on further examination there are two more discs bulging in my neck and spine.
“The surgeon explained that with each procedure the success percentage is severely reduced, and if I did need the other two discs doing there’s a high chance it will be unsuccessful. With me having a little boy and a family to provide for, it’s time to look at the bigger picture, I would rather give up rugby, as much as it kills me to do so, rather than run the risk of being unable to play with my son in the future.
“I’m heartbroken as I always had visions of retiring after a long career, but with every door that closes another one opens and I want to take this time thank all the players, coaches and staff I’ve had the pleasure of working with over the years. Thank you to the clubs I’ve had the chance to represent and the fans who have supported me over the years.”