Taunton’s towering 6ft 6ins lock forward, Chris Bentley, has informed coach Tony Yapp he is no longer available for selection.

Bentley said: “Having played professionally for 13 seasons I wanted to step down the ladder and play at a junior club on the up.

"I had high expectations of Taunton but it was not working for me and I felt it the right decision to call it a day."

Bentley, who remains a member of the club, spent 13 years as a professional including spells at Orrell, Biarritz Olympic, Edinburgh Gunners and Exeter Chiefs.

He joined Orrell at just 19 and broke their all-time 1st XV record for consecutive games with with 83 consecutive appearances.

Yapp said: “Bento’s is a big character on and off the pitch. He’s been a big help and support to the club during his time with us. Chris is a popular guy and well respected by the players.

"He was adamant about his decision and we wish him well for the future. Life goes on and Titans have a trip away to Chinnor on Saturday and we are concentrating on getting some points from that game.”

Chris Bentley's father Colin, the promotions man at the club, said: “I am doubly sorry that Chris is leaving the Titans.

"It was a pleasure having my son in the squad and I thought he had a lot to bring to the team, but with a pressure job with Exeter Chiefs' Corporate Division he was only available to play on weeks when the Chiefs were away from home.

"Titans are not in the promotion hunt this season and Chris’s absence will give developing players more game time at National League Level."