LONG-SERVING flanker Sam Betty will retire from rugby at the end of the season when his contract expires at Worcester Warriors.

The 30-year-old joined Warriors from Cornish Pirates in 2011 and has made 120 appearances for the club.

He was instrumental in the club’s promotion-winning Championship season in 2014/15, scoring 18 tries in 22 appearances.

Betty was voted players' player of the year in 2012 before being named True Warriors' and Supporters' player of the season in 2014.

But Betty has fallen down the pecking order at Warriors.

Bristol-born Betty has made just six first-team appearances this term and none in the Aviva Premiership.

The forward was red-carded in Warriors' European Challenge Cup defeat at Newport Gwent Dragons in December.

Betty played 13 times in the Premiership last season, including six starts.

Betty said: “I have worked under some top-class coaches and played alongside some fantastic players during my six years at the club so it is with a heavy heart that I have decided to call time on my career.

“As with all players, I have experienced some real highs and lows during my time at the club and our Championship play-off win against Bristol in 2015 is something that will live with me forever."

Off the pitch, Betty has done work as a fitness instructor in Worcester and carried out the role of Warriors' player ambassador for official charity partner Acorns Children’s Hospice in recent years.

He has received recognition for his efforts with Acorns when he was short-listed for the Aviva Community Player of the Season award in 2016.

Betty added: “My work with Acorns has meant a great deal to me and I have met some wonderful families at the hospice since I started visiting in 2012. I plan to continue my work with the charity now that I’ll have a little more time on my hands.”

Warriors head coach Carl Hogg said: “Sam is a player who has embodied the true meaning of the word warrior and has produced whole-hearted performances every time he has pulled on the Blue and Gold shirt.

“He was an influential part of the squad during our successful promotion campaign and we wish him the very best of luck in the future.”

Director of rugby Gary Gold admitted it was never easy to release players at the end of their contracts.

“It’s never pleasant if you are going to part ways, especially with somebody who has been a wonderful servant to the club," said Gold.

"But we’ve looked at the profile of the squad and had to be open and honest with players.

"We don’t want players here who are not going to get game-time.

"We realise we have a responsibility to the players that if they are here they feel they want to play."

Gold added: "I know I am not going to please everybody. It’s part and parcel of the job.

"I think we have a responsibility that if a player is moving on, we can do everything in our power to help that player find other employment.

"Our players are good players and not a lot of our players who move on won't have something else lined up."