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Last Updated: Monday, 29 May 2006, 07:17 GMT 08:17 UK
Struggling Healey calls it quits
Austin Healey
Healey says his body is no longer up to the rigours of rugby
Former England star Austin Healey has retired from rugby following his Leicester side's defeat by Sale in the Premiership final on Saturday.

Healey, 32, admitted that age and injuries were stopping him performing at his desired level.

"I realise it's time to go. I went through a gap and felt like I was carrying a fridge on my back," he said.

"I said I wouldn't make a decision until later but there's not much point in doing that now."

Healey said he realised he had reached the end during an attempted Leicester break towards the end of a defeat he described as "an absolute disaster".

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"I realised the clutch had gone and that I could only find third gear, never mind fourth, fifth and sixth.

"I went through an enormous amount of work to get fit for this season. I don't think I've got the guts to go through it all again for next season when my left knee might not be up to it anyway."

Healey, who plans to start a new career as a banker with Credit Suisse and to also continue working as a BBC analyst, has struggled since suffering a knee injury in a European Cup quarter-final three years ago.

And he did not sign a proposed part-time contract with the Tigers as he fears permanent disability.

Healey won 51 England caps and twice toured with the Lions.



SEE ALSO
Sale 45-20 Leicester
27 May 06 |  English


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