Harlequins and England Back Row Jack Clifford has been forced to retire from the game due to injury.

The 27-year-old brings down the curtain on his career that saw the young flanker have a fourteen-year relationship with Quins.

Senior career back in 2012, eventually leading to England honours

Clifford’s senior career began in November 2012 when he made his debut in the 31-30 Anglo Welsh Cup win against Northampton. The flanker has also captained England at Under 18 and Under 20 level. He was also a pivotal part of the Side that won the Junior World Championship in 2013.

The back rower has also represented England in the Sevens World Series in Japan and Hong Kong in 2014. He also had the honour of scoring a try for an England XV against the Barbarians in 2015.

Test Debut during the 2016 Six Nations

Fans favourite Clifford made his test debut as a replacement for Club Captain Chris Robshaw during the 2016 Six Nations. The game in question was against Scotland at Murrayfield which was Eddie Jones first game in charge of England.

Clifford’s last match in a Quins shirt was against London Irish back in September 2019. It was a landmark for the likeable Clifford as it was his 100th game for Harlequins.

100th game for Quins, but one to forget

It proved to be a match to forget as he suffered a shoulder dislocation in the game. Since September he has undergone two shoulder surgeries to repair the issue without success.

Clifford in an emotional interview earlier today said:

“I am absolutely gutted to be have to call time on my career at a relatively early stage. I have been at Quins since I was 13 years old and made so many good friends here. It has been an absolute pleasure training and playing with the lads each week and I will miss this environment greatly. I feel proud to have reached 100 appearances for Quins and it is ironic that the injury was sustained in my 100th game!”

Head of Rugby Paul Gustard shared his disappointment with the news of Clifford.

“It is with sadness that Jackman has been forced to retire from the game prematurely after another serious injury.  “He was a player who had the ability to change a game with his explosive pace and offloading skills”.

Clifford will always be somebody who will be remembered for his never say die attitude. He never gave up despite shoulder problems, and was determined to get back playing this season. Unfortunately his body kept telling him he couldn’t go on any longer.

Such a pity for a player who was mentioned in large dispatches as a regular England number eight. Jones had a lot of admiration for Clifford. If he had of stayed fit he could well be wearing that coveted England jersey on a permanent basis.