Farrell to retire from English rugby - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Farrell to retire from English rugby

By Julian Guyer 07/04/2009 11:53:10 PM Comments (0)

Dual international Andy Farrell will hang up the boots at the end of this season, the 33-year-old admitting his body was telling him it was time to give it away.

Former Wigan and Great Britain rugby league captain Farrell, 34 next month, switched codes in 2005 and joined Premiership rugby union club Saracens.

He went on to win eight England caps and was a member of their squad at the 2007 World Cup in France.

Farrell will remain with Saracens, by becoming their skills coach.

"My mind still feels as sharp as ever, but my body is telling me different things," Farrell said.

"Throughout my career I've always prided myself on doing extra training to stay one step ahead of opponents, but I'm now finding myself spending all my time just trying to get right for training, rather than trying to be a better player," he added.

"When that time comes, it is time to stop.

"After 18 years, it will be an emotional moment to play my last game, but I'm really excited about the opportunity that Saracens have given to me to move into coaching - something I have always wanted to do.

"I've always been interested in coaching, and I've been lucky enough to work with some fantastic people during my career and I'm looking forward to putting into practice all the knowledge I've gained over the years."

Farrell was only 15 when he made his second team debut for Wigan and within a year was a first team regular.

He made his Great Britain debut aged 18 and at 21 became the youngest captain of his country, going on to make 34 Test appearances.

Farrell's brilliant career with Wigan saw him win five championships and four Challenge Cups.

But, following in the footsteps of his old Wigan team-mate Jason Robinson, a member of the England rugby union team that won the 2003 World Cup, Farrell then crossed codes in a move that was part funded by the Rugby Football Union.

However, he never hit the same heights in union as he'd done in league. Injuries blighted his initial career in the 15-man game and there was an early debate about whether he should play as a flanker or a centre.

He won all his eight England caps in 2007 with his final international appearance as a replacement against Tonga during a World Cup pool game that year in Paris.

"I had 14 great years with Wigan and have so many people to thank at the club over the years for all the help and support they gave me," Farrell said.

"I've also met some special people at Saracens and was also fortunate enough to become a dual international and represent England at a World Cup.

"The fans of both clubs have given me tremendous support, and I'd like to thank them for that.

"I've no regrets looking back, and I've been fortunate enough to play with and against some fantastic people and have some fantastic experiences."

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