Tait announces retirement from rugby

Former England centre Mathew Tait has called time on his career, having won 38 caps for his country.

Former England centre Mathew Tait has called time on his career, having won 38 caps for his country.

The 33-year-old spent 15 years playing at the highest level, making his debut for England against Wales in the 2005 Championship.

That day, he became the second youngest player to represent England since the second world war, only Jonny Wilkinson was younger.

Wales won that day, thanks to Gavin Henson’s late penalty, but Tait went onto make 19 appearances in the Championship, while he also produced a stand-out performance for England in the 2007 World Cup final.

More recently, the Leicester Tigers back has struggled with an Achilles problem, and has now decided to call time on his career on medical grounds.

“It isn’t how I planned to finish up but ultimately, this ongoing problem with my Achilles has caught up me and, on the advice of people much more in the know than me, it’s the right time to call it quits,” said Tait.

“I’ve thoroughly enjoyed my time at Tigers over the past eight years. Having played against Leicester before arriving at the club, it was a dream to be able to call Welford Road home and I leave having enjoyed many special memories with a lot of special people over my time here.

“I’ve been so fortunate to achieve many things in the game and it’s hard to pinpoint one highlight, let alone a few, but obviously being able to win the Premiership with Tigers stands out, as well representing my country and, of course, playing in a World Cup Final.

“I also think being able to have played against and alongside my brother Alex is something I’ll always remember as being very special.”

Tait last featured for England in 2010, with his final Championship appearance coming off the bench in Paris against France.

“I owe a lot to a lot of people who have made it possible for me to live out my dream and I thank every one of those people who have played a role from my school days, through Newcastle and Sale, England and, of course, here at Tigers,” he added.

“I’m grateful for the friends I’ve made and the experiences I’ve had alongside such great team-mates and working with fantastic coaches.”