A LOCAL rugby star has opted to hang up his boots.

Long-serving front row forward Eifion Lewis Roberts has announced his retirement from the professional game due to injury.

Roberts, nicknamed ‘The Fridge’ by former Lions star Jason Robinson, made his debut during Sale Sharks’ Premiership winning season in 2006, but he has been forced to retire due to a knee injury that he picked up against Bristol last October.

A veteran of over 200 games, Roberts has been one of the leading front row forwards in the northern hemisphere since making his debut against the Newcastle Falcons.

His consistent displays playing for Sharks did not go unrecognised and he won a Welsh international cap as a replacement against Canada in 2008 (pictured).

He also spent 12 months playing for Toulon under Philippe Saint Andre in 2012-2103, before returning to the Sharks.

Eifion, who began his career at Ruthin Rugby Club, said: “It’s sad that I have had to admit defeat to this knee injury.

“I was enjoying my rugby as I always did in the game at Bristol and I made a tackle which caused the damage.”

Sale Sharks’ director of rugby Steve Diamond paid tribute to Roberts’ contribution over the past decade.

He said: “What a great servant Eifion has been for the club.

“He will be remembered for the 100 per cent effort he put in each and every game.

“We are delighted that he will be attending all our home games as an ambassador of the club.”