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Page last updated at 18:34 GMT, Saturday, 9 May 2009 19:34 UK

Veteran Corry retires from rugby

Martin Corry
Corry has been a stalwart figure for club and country

Former England captain Martin Corry will retire from rugby union at the end of the season after a glittering career in the sport.

The 35-year-old won five Premiership titles, two Heineken Cups and the EDF Energy Cup during his time with Leicester, and won 64 caps for England.

Corry was part of the unfancied England side that reached the 2007 World Cup final and won seven caps for the Lions.

"If it was down to heart and mind I'd love to continue playing," said Corry.

"But unfortunately I have taken specialist medical advice and my body has said that is it.

"I have been able to play the game I love as a professional for a long time and I have some great memories."

Time is right to call it quits - Corry

The Leicester skipper has struggled with pelvic, groin and knee ligament injuries this season, while he was also hit by a six-week suspension.

Renowned as a whole-hearted competitor for both club and country, Corry was able to make an emotional lap of honour in front of the Leicester fans at the end of the Tigers' 24-10 victory against Bath in the Guinness Premiership semi-final.

Corry, who took no part in the match at the Walkers Stadium, is still hoping to play a part in Leicester's remaining two matches of the season: the Premiership final and the Heineken Cup final.

"It had to happen at some stage," added Corry, who played at flanker, number eight and lock for England.

"If I can get on the field in the last two games then great. But I don't think Cockers (Leicester coach Richard Cockerill) and sentiment go hand in hand.

"If I deserve it great but I don't want a bit of charity at the end."

He added: "I have had some great highs and some lows but I have loved every moment of it.

"The hardest thing will be missing that buzz when you are in the changing room just minutes before the kick-off of a really big match.

"I am immensely proud of my rugby career and how I dealt with all the obstacles."

Corry was part of England's World World Cup-winning squad in 2003, but remained on the bench in the final against Australia.

But he established himself in the side as the long-running back-row unit of Richard Hill, Neil Back and Lawrence Dallaglio started to break up and was named England skipper in 2005 after injury ruled out Jason Robinson.


It marked a difficult spell in Corry's career as England struggled under his - and coach Andy Robinson's - leadership. Corry came in for some strong criticism, but cut a dignified figure as he fronted up to the media time and again despite the disappointing results as England lost nine of his 16 games in charge.

He was eventually replaced as skipper by Wasps prop Phil Vickery after Brian Ashton took over as England coach, but continued to play a key role as a player - helping a much-maligned side to the World Cup final only to lose to South Africa.

Corry eventually announced his retirement from international duty in 2008, but continued to play for Leicester as club captain.

England manager Martin Johnson led the tributes to Corry, who also played on the 1997, 2001 and 2005 Lions tours.

"For eight years it was a privilege to play alongside Martin for Leicester, England and the Lions," he said.

"Martin was one of the most whole-hearted and committed players that I ever played alongside. I have some fantastic memories of the times we were part of the same team."

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see also
Corry handed six-week suspension
13 Feb 09 |  Leicester
Corry set to carry on next season
28 Apr 08 |  English
Tindall lauds 'unsung hero' Corry
08 Jan 08 |  English
Corry retires from England duty
08 Jan 08 |  English
Corry happy with second-row move
08 Mar 07 |  English
Corry backs new skipper Vickery
05 Jan 07 |  English
Vickery replaces Corry as captain
02 Jan 07 |  English
England's era of decline
29 Nov 06 |  English
Corry desperate to restore pride
15 Mar 06 |  Internationals
Corry happy with Dallaglio return
08 Feb 06 |  Internationals
Robinson backs Corry's leadership
25 Jan 06 |  Internationals
Corry wants victory at all costs
08 Nov 05 |  Internationals
Corry calls for start of new era
17 Aug 05 |  English
Corry named as Leicester captain
05 Aug 05 |  English
Tiger Corry picks up second award
11 May 05 |  Rugby Union
Moody praises Corry leadership
13 Mar 05 |  Internationals
Johnson backs new captain Corry
04 Mar 05 |  Internationals
Corry steps out of the shadows
03 Mar 05 |  Internationals
Corry awarded England captaincy
03 Mar 05 |  Internationals

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