Gloucester have announced that second row James Hudson has retired from professional rugby with immediate effect having failed to overcome a serious knee injury.
Hudson, who joined the club from Newcastle Falcons ahead of the 2013/14 season, injured his knee when he appeared as a replacement in Gloucester's first pre-season friendly in September 2015, away at Exeter Chiefs.
Despite a determined effort to regain full fitness following surgery and a lengthy rehabilitation programme, the 34-year-old has been forced to admit defeat in his efforts to return to playing action.
James made over 250 appearances in a career, which included representing Bath, London Irish and Newcastle Falcons as well as Gloucester in the Premiership.
However, Hudson, who also played for England against the Barbarians and on two Churchill Cup tours, will remain with the Cherry and Whites in the role of Performance Nutritionist.
It's a career path that Hudson has been looking to follow for some time now. He started his undergraduate degree and masters in biochemistry at the University of Bath whilst his rugby career was already underway, has completed the International Olympic Committee's Diploma in Sports Nutrition and is a registered Sport and Exercise Nutritionist.
He first became involved with nutrition at club level whilst with the Falcons, and has expanded that role during his time with Gloucester, particularly over the past 18 months, working closely with the club's Performance Chef Will Carvalho.
Hudson admitted that it's tough to have to call it a day, but that it's the right decision and he's now looking forward to what the future holds.
"I'm obviously disappointed that I've had to hang up my boots, but I know that I gave it everything in a bid to get back on the pitch and I'd like to place on record my thanks to the Gloucester medical staff who have been terrific," he told Gloucester's official website.
"I feel proud and very lucky to have been able to play for 15 years as a professional and always knew that it would come to an end one day. I am now looking forward to starting a new chapter and am delighted that part of that will be with Gloucester Rugby."