Former Gloucester and England prop Trevor Woodman has announced that he is retiring from rugby after failing to recover from a lower back injury that he sustained while training with Sale Sharks in September 2004.
Talking publicly about his retirement for the first time earlier today Trevor, who made his debut for the Kingsholm club in the mid 1990s, said: "I believe I have done everything I can to come back from this injury, consulting a number of top physios both in this country and abroad. It has been an incredibly frustrating time for me but I have some great memories from Rugby and hope that I will remain involved with the sport in some way".
Having turned professional in 1996 with Gloucester, Trevor (also known as Dougie) gained 22 caps for England, and was a key part of the Gloucester set-up before moving on in 2004. He played alongside Club team mate Phil Vickery in the England side that won the 2003 World Cup in Australia.
Talking on Wednesday evening Gloucester head coach Dean Ryan said: "Dougie's retirement is a huge loss to English rugby. He was one of the best new breed of props, and on the brink of realising his true potential. On behalf of everyone at Gloucester Rugby I'd like to wish him well for the future."
England Head Coach Andy Robinson OBE added: "On behalf of the England squad I was very sorry to hear that Trevor was retiring from rugby. He has been an outstanding player for club and country and he made an important contribution to the success of the RWC 2003 campaign. I'd like to wish him every success in whatever he chooses to do in the future."
Trevor's initial target is to continue with his rehabilitation programme and reduce the pain he is experiencing, before looking at future career options.
Everyone at Gloucester Rugby would like to wish Dougie all the best for the future and look forward to seeing him in the stands at Kingsholm for the new season.
Speaking to the local media this week, Richard Hibbard expressed his excitement ahead of the West Country derby and that there is an extra spring in the step of the Cherry and Whites ahead of the tough challenge.
With such a short turnaround between the two games, and Gloucester looking to reintegrate several players into the line-up after the Autumn international series, Tom Savage told GRTV that the Cherry and Whites will keep changes to a minimum for the European Rugby Challenge Cup game in Zebre on Saturday.
Gloucester travel to Italy this weekend to take on Zebre in Round Four of the European Rugby Challenge Cup. The Cherry and Whites defeated the Italian side 35-10 last Sunday, but Director of Rugby David Humphreys is looking for an improved performance in the return fixture.
On a tough evening at Kingsholm, Gloucester could escape neither a suffocating Bath defence, nor the whistle of referee Greg Garner as six penalties and a penalty try paved the way to a 39-16 win for the visitors.
Gloucester Rugby welcome Sione Kalamafoni, Greig Laidlaw and Tom Palmer back to the starting line up and feature David Halaifonua in a matchday squad for the first time, as they resume Aviva Premiership action against Bath Rugby at Kingsholm on Saturday (kick off 5:30pm).