Leicester Tigers centre George Catchpole has announced his retirement from professional rugby with immediate effect.
Catchpole has been plagued by injury and glandular fever over the past two seasons and the Leicester Young Player of the Year 2015 has decided it is now time to hang up the boots to ‘pursue new challenges’.
“I’ve had eight years at Leicester, coming from the academy into the senior squad, and I would like to thank everyone at the club who has played a part in my career,” said Catchpole, who could also operate on the wing.
“I’ve been here a long time and loved my time with Tigers, but after three tough seasons with illness and injury, I’ve decided that this is a good time to pursue new challenges.”
The 24-year-old has been at the Premiership club for the past eight years, graduating from the academy to make 17 appearances for the first team in that time.
Catchpole also featured for England’s youth age groups including the Under-18s and Under-20s, winning the Junior World Cup in 2014 as part of a squad skippered by Maro Itoje.
Tigers head coach Matt O’Connor said: “In my first spell at Tigers, George was coming through the academy system and he went on to play senior first-team rugby here, but now he is moving on to new challenges and we wish him well for the future.”