Saracens will have the opportunity to kick-start the retirement party to beat all parties next month in Newcastle, after David Strettle announced his retirement on social media this evening.
The winger started for the English side in their semi-final clash with Munster last weekend, in what has proved to be his penultimate game on the European stage.
The 35-year-old played 14 tests for England before moving to France to play with ASM Clermont-Auvergne in 2015 where he continued to play until last year.
In a statement on his own personal social media accounts, he said:
So, this is it for me. Every journey has its end and every curtain has its call, and I’m now having to admit that I can’t play rugby forever. There’s always that nagging doubt in the back of your mind as a rugby player, that nudges you to say, ‘go on…one more year!’ Sometimes you listen to it, but sometimes you take a step back and realise that now is time.
The winger made his debut for England at Croke Park in 2007, scoring his side's only try in the famous 43-13 drubbing at GAA headquarters.
But while his international career only amassed 14 caps, Strettle arguably played his best rugby in France, helping Clermont to a Champions Cup final and a Top 14 title in 2017. In fact, the former international lined out for Clermont in the European final when Saracens, his current club, when this year's finalists last won the title.
In his statement, he continued:
So…from me, thank you. Thanks for all your support, thanks for all the memories, and here’s to making one or two more before I become another one of those grumpy old timers who charge modest sums to speak at your local rugby club to trot out the tired old clichés!