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Last Updated: Thursday, 24 January 2008, 17:06 GMT
Hill to retire at end of season
Richard Hill
Hill has spent his entire top-class career with Saracens
Saracens and England flanker Richard Hill will retire from professional rugby at the end of the season.

The 34-year-old World Cup winner has spent his entire first-class career at Sarries, having made his debut in 1993 when the game was still amateur.

Hill, who won 71 England caps and went on three British and Irish Lions tours, has overcome serious knee injuries.

"I want to see what opportunities are out there but I doubt I'll be able to just walk away from rugby," he said.

"I've been chatting to a number of people and organisations to get advice to try to prepare myself for the future as best I can, and that has included some very pro-active talks with Saracens about a role with the club."

Hill made his decision after consulting the club's medical staff - but he hopes to bow out on a high note.

Richard personifies for me everything that is good about a professional rugby player

England coach Brian Ashton

"We agreed it was probably time to give up and we set out a goal of playing a reduced number of games over this season and I'm well on course to hit that," he said.

"We've come to an important part of the season at Saracens and all my attentions will now be focused on that.

"We've not achieved anything yet, but we've put ourselves in a good position in all three competitions and the opportunity is there for the club to enjoy a good season - that's something that we all want."

606: DEBATE

England coach Brian Ashton was quick to pay his tribute to Hill.

"His contribution to England has been a massive one from when he made his international debut against Scotland in 1997 through to his last cap against Australia in 2004," he said.

"But for injuries in the last three years, I'm sure there would have been more caps, and like many people I admired the way he came back from two long-term injuries to play again for Saracens.

"Richard personifies for me everything that is good about a professional rugby player and I would like, on behalf of the England squad, to wish him every success with whatever he decides to do in the future."



SEE ALSO
Hill & De Kock take Sarries roles
22 Aug 07 |  Saracens
Hill battles back
29 Nov 06 |  Rugby Union
Hill's career on line over injury
26 Jun 05 |  Internationals


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