Mickey Rourke has pulled out of his role as gay Welsh rugby star Gareth Thomas in a new biopic after suffering problems during his stunt training for the film.

The 59-year-old actor had reportedly taken a method approach to playing Thomas, even tearing a bicep by arm-wrestling with rugby players while on drunken nights out. Now though, according to Thomas himself, Rourke has handed in his notice and the producers are on the lookout for a replacement.

Speaking to the Sun on Sunday, Thomas said: “I was talking to Mickey and basically we’re now talking to other big-name actors who could play the part instead.

“We had talked about using computer-generated special effects with Mickey but we don’t think that will be as realistic, so it’s time to find someone new.”

Tom Hardy is said to be in the running for taking on the role, and at 34, is considerably closer in age to the man he’ll be playing.