An Aberaeron rugby player has retired from professional rugby after more than a decade, ending a prestigious 14-year Test career that made her a highly respected figure in Welsh and world rugby.

Sioned Harries, 34, represented her country in four World Cups and won 78 caps. She began playing at Aberaeron RFC and also played for Whitland RFC.

During her prolific career, Harries scored 28 tries for Wales and represented Wales Sevens at the World Series and Commonwealth Games.

Despite her professional obligations - after becoming one of the first to gain a professional contract with Wales - she held a full-time job as a teacher at Ysgol Gymraeg Bro Dur.

Beyond playing, Ms Harries was a respected media pundit and commentator on both women's and men's rugby.

Ms Harries said: "I am incredibly proud of what I have achieved in the game, and this was a difficult decision, but the timing is right for me.

"I wish to thank my family and friends, teammates and coaches – past and present – and all the backroom staff and even my opponents, for bringing the best out of me.

"I have loved the challenge and will be forever grateful for the fond memories and experiences."

She added: "Without all of you, and your support, I would not have achieved what I have.

"It hasn’t been easy, and the highs and lows have been well documented.

"Wearing the red jersey, representing my family, my community and my people is what it has always been about for me."

She expressed gratitude to her school, Ysgol Gymraeg Bro Dur, for supporting her career, stating: "I have to thank all staff and pupils at Ysgol Gymraeg Bro Dur for their support and allowing me to continue playing for Wales, when the game went professional."

Welsh Rugby Union head coach, Ioan Cunningham, lauded her for her contributions to the sport.

He said: "Sioned’s standing in the game is without question and she has given so much to Wales and the jersey.

"To play in four World Cups is a stamp of her quality and determination and is a feat that won’t be matched by many players in the game."

Her final game will be the Celtic Challenge clash between Brython Thunder and Gwalia Lightning at Parc y Scarlets on March 3, kick off at 2.45pm.