Former Tonga international Taione Vea has retired from rugby because of a spinal injury.
The Newcastle prop suffered the injury during the Falcons English Premiership season opener against Sale in September.
"I took a bad knock in the game against Sale and spent a few nights in hospital, and when I had my scan results unfortunately things didn't come back too well," he told the Newcastle Falcons' club website.
"I had quite a bit of swelling in the spinal cord, around some really important areas of the neck, and it is just one of those things.
"I was left paralysed for five or six minutes on the field, where I couldn't feel my whole body.
"That is enough for anybody in a lifetime, and the risk of that happening again if I was to return to playing is quite high. It is obviously not the way I wanted to go," he explained.
"At the age I am and the way I felt I was playing, I was planning on a fair few more years but having spoken to medical professionals and specialists I have had to just accept the fact there is more to life than playing the game I love."
The 27-year-old Vea debuted for the 'Ikale Tahi against Japan in 2013 and played six tests.
The New Zealand born front-rower also represented North Harbour and English club Wasps.