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Page last updated at 15:18 GMT, Thursday, 28 May 2009 16:18 UK

Catt set to postpone retirement

Mike Catt
Catt made his debut for Bath in 1992

London Irish and former England fly-half Mike Catt will continue playing next season if fly-halves Chris Malone and Jamie Lennard are unavailable.

Catt, 37, was set to retire this summer but the new arrivals have both suffered injuries that could keep them out of the start of the new season.

"They're out for four to five months, that has left us light at 10," he said.

"If both of them don't recover by the time the season begins then I'll have to start, or at least be available."

The World Cup winner said he would now prefer to concentrate on his coaching career and give up his playing duties.

"I'd be gutted because while I'm thoroughly enjoying playing, I'm really enjoying coaching," he said.

I'm ready to call it a day as a player but the body is fine, I only kick and distribute now anyway

Mike Catt

"I've fitted in very easily as a coach at London Irish because of the players we have and the style we play.

"Toby Booth [director of rugby] has taught me a lot but there's still plenty for me to learn from him. Now I need to go full time as a coach."

Catt added that he can still cope with playing in the Guinness Premiership.

"I'm ready to call it a day as a player but the body is fine," he said. "I only kick and distribute now anyway, I don't take contact.

"But I still have the bug as a player and will do what's best for the club. People go on about the 37-year-old thing all the time but I'm just as fit as some of the 18-year-olds coming into the game.

"The body's fine, it just takes more time to recover, two or three days instead of one."

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see also
England 26-33 Barbarians
30 May 09 |  Rugby Union
Catt to enjoy Twickenham finale
14 May 09 |  London Irish
Hodgson urges Catt not to retire
17 May 09 |  London Irish

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