WALES prop Cerys Hale has hung up her boots to concentrate on bringing through the next generations as coach at the Dragons.

The 31-year-old from Newport has retired from playing after an impressive Test career and club glory with Gloucester-Hartpury.

Hale won 49 caps, was selected for the 2014 World Cup in France and played in the 2017 and 2022 tournaments in Ireland and New Zealand.

She made her international debut against Ireland in the 2016 Six Nations and played her final Test match against Australia last year in the WXV1 tournament in New Zealand.

Hale first played the game at Newport High School Old Boys and, after playing for the Dragons, moved to Gloucester-Hartpury in 2019 to make 68 appearances and win the Premiership twice.

Now, however, she will become a former prop while carrying out her coaching duties with the Rodney Parade club, who are revamping their academy set-up.

OVER: Former Wales prop Cerys Hale has retired to focus on coaching at the DragonsOVER: Former Wales prop Cerys Hale has retired to focus on coaching at the Dragons

“This was an easy decision after playing rugby at the highest level for most of my adult life and it is time to move on and dedicate my time to my role with the Dragons and developing the next generation of talent in Wales,” said Hale.

"Playing for my country has been an honour and to play in two World Cups is something I like back on with real pride.

“To see the game go from amateur to professional during my career has given me a real insight to how much the game has changed since I started playing for Newport High School Old Boys when I was 11.

“Women’s rugby in Wales is in a completely different place to when I started, with professional contract and with my role with the Dragons, I see how much talent there is out there now believing they can be a professional rugby player in Wales.

“Seeing the likes of Sisi [Sisilia Tuipulotu] and Gwenni P [Gwenllian Pyrs] establish themselves in the national squad means I leave with the future in safe hands.

CHARGE: Cerys Hale carries hard for Wales against AustraliaCHARGE: Cerys Hale carries hard for Wales against Australia (Image: PA)

“Seeing them develop into the front-rowers they are and playing a small role in their development is something I am proud of.

“I have to thank my wife, my family, friends and teammates and coaches for their support down the years. You have been with me all the way and your support has been the reason I played for my country. Thank you.

"After falling in love with the game in the stands of Rodney Parade, it feels like a full circle moment to be hanging my boots up to go into a full-time role with the Dragons."

The former teacher is tasked with helping young prospects come through, passing on her experience to help them follow in her footsteps.

Ioan Cunningham, Wales head coach, said: "To be selected for three world cups and to play in two is a real achievement for any international player.

“Cerys has been a regular in the Wales squad since I have been here and she knows what is expected of players at Test match level.

“To have someone with her experience passing on her knowledge to the next generation of players in Wales will be invaluable. We thank her for what she has done in the Wales jersey and wish her all the best in her new role.”