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Leicester Tigers back Mathew Tait announces immediate retirement from rugby

2007 Rugby World Cup star Mathew Tait has called time on his career which saw him win the 2013 Premiership title with Leicester Tigers and international honours with England. 

Speaking of the achilles injury which has forced him into an premature retirement, the versatile back revealed it wasn’t ‘how I planned to finish up’ a career which saw him make 280 club appearances in the Premiership for Newcastle Falcons, Sale Sharks and Leicester, as well as winning 36 caps for his country.

Having spent the past eight years of his career at Welford Road, the 33-year-old explained how he would be able to look back on his playing career fondly.

Tait told the Leicester Tigers club website: “I’ve been so fortunate to achieve many things in the game and it’s hard to pinpoint one highlight, let alone a few, but obviously being able to win the Premiership with Tigers stands out, as well representing my country and, of course, playing in a World Cup Final.

“I also think being able to have played against and alongside my brother Alex is something I’ll always remember as being very special.

“I owe a lot to a lot of people who have made it possible for me to live out my dream and I thank every one of those people who have played a role from my school days, through Newcastle and Sale, England and, of course, here at Tigers.”

Breakthrough: Mathew Tait was 21 when he starred for England at the 2007 Rugby World Cup in France, reaching the final where Brian Ashton’s side lost 15-6 to the Springboks. Photo: Getty Images

Tait’s career with the Tigers saw him accumulate a total of 143 appearances, and his former teammate turned director of rugby Geordan Murphy credited the full-back for his influence as a senior player member of the team.

Murphy said: “Mat has been among the leading players of his generation since making his breakthrough as a teenager at Newcastle.

“In the past few seasons we have been able to use him at centre and full-back, and it says a lot for his knowledge and his quality as a player that he has been able to absorb the detail of different roles and has always been willing to play wherever he has been needed in the team.

“As a senior player, he has been influential here on and off the field and has given great service to the club. He will always be welcome at Welford Road and we wish him and his family all the very best for the future.”

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