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Last Updated: Thursday, 10 May 2007, 11:02 GMT 12:02 UK
Castaignede calls time on career
Thomas Castaignede
Castaignede made 116 Saracens appearances in seven years
Saracens' France international Thomas Castaignede has announced his retirement from club rugby.

The 32-year-old back, whose last game for the club was the 50-9 play-off loss to Gloucester, will retire from all rugby after the World Cup in September.

"It's something I've been thinking hard about but this just feels like the right time," he told the club website.

"This year didn't end with the result I would have liked but I'll look back on my time at the club very fondly."

He's been an outstanding player for club and country over many years and really has been one of the stars of world rugby over the past decade

Saracens' Alan Gaffney

Castaignede, who played at fly-half, centre or full-back, joined Saracens from Castres seven years ago.

He scored 131 points in just seven games before suffering a career-threatening Achilles injury which kept him out of action for 18 months.

He plans to remain in London to pursue a career in banking after his retirement, but hopes he can add to his 52 French caps before hanging up his boots.

"I want to finish off my career with a World Cup in France," he told French newspaper L'Equipe.

"I think we can win it and there would be no point in me trying to play on after that."

Saracens director of rugby Alan Gaffney paid tribute to his contribution to the club, and said playing in the World Cup would be a fitting send-off to a great player.

"He's been an outstanding player for club and country over many years and really has been one of the stars of world rugby over the past decade," he said.

"Thomas has never been involved in a World Cup and I know that is something he wants to achieve.

"It will be a fitting tribute to him for him to bow out of the professional game having represented France in the tournament on home soil."

  • Former France centre Tony Marsh, who has played for Clermont Auvergne - formerly Montferrand - since 1998, is also to retire at the end of the season.

    New Zealand-born Marsh, 34, won 21 caps for his adopted country and was part of France's 2002 Grand Slam-winning side.

    He also won back-to-back Super 12 titles with Auckland Blues and Canterbury Crusaders and before moving to France.

    After serving a residency period of three years, Marsh was selected for the French squad in 2001, and after undergoing chemotherapy treatment for testicular cancer in 2003, helped the Tricolores reach the semi-finals of the 2003 World Cup.

    Gloucester 50-9 Saracens
    05 May 07 |  English
    Castaignede signs Saracens deal
    26 Apr 06 |  English
    Castaignede is recalled by France
    25 Oct 05 |  Internationals


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