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Steve Borthwick to retire at the end of the season

Saracens captain Steve Borthwick has announced he will retire at the end of the current season.

The former England captain, 34, says May 2014 will be the “right time” to close an illustrious 16-year playing career, which included leading Saracens to the 2011 Premiership title.

The lock has played a record 19,389 minutes of Premiership rugby so far in his 253 league appearances, 129 as captain.

“Very few players have the chance to retire on their own terms,” Borthwick said.

“Saracens did ask me if I’d like to carry on but I feel that the time is right for me to finish playing at the end of the season. That’s still a few months away, and I am obviously 100% focussed on improving as a player and leading this team to the best of my ability.”

Director of Rugby Mark McCall said: “Steve has become a Saracens legend, as a leader, as a player, as man who sets the highest standards in everything he does. He will be sorely missed in due course but, for now, with Steve at the helm, we are focussed on Saturday’s match against Sale.”

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