Let me begin with a disclaimer about the difference between the Italian and English languages; a thing might sound perfect in English and can be plain wrong in Italian and vice versa.
This rant of mine begins with my readings of several Wikipedia entries about rugby players, or better about those indicated as former rugby players.
Now, "former rugby player" means "someone who used to play rugby but doesn't anymore", and that's OK. The problem comes when you read Wikipedia Italian pages, where you too often find people addressed as "ex rugbista", that in the intentions clearly has the same meaning that "former rugby player" has in English.
Now. This might be both a rant and an opinion of mine, but there is not such thing as an "ex rugbista". A "Rugbista" is more, much more than a rugby player - for that we use "giocatore di rugby". The term it is something closer to "a man of rugby". And once you've been one you cannot stop, it's in your skin, it's in your bones. It's as simple as that. It's an illness, an illness from which nobody wants to recover, in spite of all the wounds, the mud, the pain, the strain.
It does not matter which results we achieved. It does not matter when we played our last match. Rugby is what we are. And what we will always be.