Wales Women winger Lowri Norkett has announced she is quitting professional rugby.

The 28-year-old, who has five caps for her country to her name, is leaving the game to pursue another opportunity after fulfilling her aim to pay tribute to her younger sister Elli, who died in a car accident in 2017.

Elli was the youngest player at the 2014 Women's World and went on to earn four caps for Wales before her untimely passing. Lowri, who began her sporting career in netball, switched to the oval-ball game in tribute to her sister and made her Test debut against Canada in 2022.

She now feels she has achieved her goal of honouring Elli and has decided to hang up her boots after her personal circumstances changed. She admitted it was a "very difficult decision" to make and that leaving her team-mates would be hard. Having some financial security in terms of employment was also a factor in her thought process, she added.

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She said: “My motivation to play rugby for Wales was always about paying tribute to my little sister, Elli, and leaving a legacy to her and her memory in the famous red shirt. I cannot deny this has been a very difficult decision for me and I leave behind so many friends in the squad.

“I have made friends for life in this squad and we have memories nobody else will understand or can share. There have been ups and downs and highs and lows but my abiding memory will be of the people here who shared my journey and helped me honour Elli.

“I feel I have done that. It wasn’t easy and was hard work and nothing is ever easy as an elite athlete but I am satisfied that I did what I set out to do. I got married recently and that does change your priorities and a new job opportunity has presented itself and it is a new and exciting challenge. It offers a level of financial security that is hard for me to ignore and I have decided to change paths earlier than I had planned.

“I would like to thank all my family, friends, team-mates, coaches and staff for all the support and time they have given me in allowing me to honour Elli. I couldn’t have done it without you.

“I wish Hannah Jones and all the squad all the best in the WXV in New Zealand and I know you will do us all proud."

Lowri Norkett with her late sister Elli
Lowri Norkett (left) with her late sister Elli

Wales, who face the USA this weekend in a friendly match in Colwyn Bay before their WXV campaign gets under way next month, have paid tribute to Lowri's commitment, with head coach Ioan Cunningham adding: "Lowri’s journey has been inspirational and unique and she achieved everything she said she would. How many of us achieve that and can walk away saying we did what we set out to do?

“Her story is one of the most inspirational of any sportsperson, let alone a rugby player. To set yourself a target of honouring your late sister by taking up her sport, play her position and represent your country. It was an honour to award Lowri her cap out in Canada and she fully deserved to wear the No14 that day. We wish her all the best.”

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