Former Wales lock Ian Evans has been forced to call time on a glittering career due to a knee injury.

The Bristol second-row suffered an incapacitating knee injury which prevents him from training and from playing professional rugby. Evans not only became a mainstay in the Wales side during their Six Nations grand slam triumphs in 2008 and 2012, but was also a part of the British and Irish Lions’ successful tour of Australia in 2013.

He won his third Six Nations title that year, before heading to Bristol where played four times in this season’s European Rugby Challenge Cup. He enjoyed more success with his home region Ospreys. He reached the European Cup quarter-finals in 2008, 2009 and 2010 and won the a pair of Pro12 titles.

“I'm deeply saddened to end my professional career now, however, the knee injury I suffered whilst playing for Bristol now prevents me from achieving full fitness and will permanently affect my capability to perform,” Evans said.

“While I'm sad that my playing career has come to an end, I'm looking forward to the next chapter and exploring new opportunities.

“I’ve been fortunate enough to have an incredible career and I’m honoured to have had the opportunity to represent my country, winning successive Six Nations titles.

“I’m grateful to the Ospreys and Bristol – two fantastic clubs where I have met great people and hold fond memories.”

Head Coach Mark Tainton added: “We thank Ian and wish him the best of luck for the future. Ian helped Bristol to promotion in 2016 and has been an excellent ambassador for the club. He’s suffered a challenging period here with his knee injuries and, ultimately, Ian hasn’t been able to play a regular run of games. We are grateful for his contribution – on and off the field.”