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Saracens winger to retire at the end of the season after 17-year career

David Strettle started the Premiership club’s Champions Cup win over Munster last weekend.

DAVID STRETTLE, WHO will bid to help Saracens beat Leinster in next month’s Heineken Champions Cup final, has announced his decision to retire from professional rugby at the end of the season.

The 35-year-old played 74 minutes of Saracens’ semi-final victory over Munster in Coventry last Saturday after replacing the injured Sean Maitland and will hope to go out on a high on 11 May at St James’ Park.

David Strettle Strettle in action against Munster at the weekend. Source: James Crombie/INPHO

Strettle won 14 international caps for England, scoring two tries including a second-half score against Ireland at Croke Park back in 2007, while helping Saracens to two Premiership titles during his first spell with the club.

The winger started his career with Rotherham Titans and then Harlequins and had a three-year stint in the Top 14 with Clermont before rejoining Saracens last summer. He has scored 122 tries in over 325 appearances over the course of his 17-year club career.

“I spoke to my wife and we decided now is the time to say goodbye to rugby. There are some more adventures for me elsewhere,” he said.

“I’m lucky enough to be able to look back, be very proud and privileged to have done some of the things I’ve done.

“There was a time when I was at Clermont I thought I’d retire so everything from that point has been an unbelievable bonus for me and to come back to Saracens has been incredible.

“When I first joined the club there was a saying called ‘ELE’ – Everyone Loves Everyone – it’s very true. There are no prima-donnas, no one is treated better than the others.

“Saracens will always have a special place in my heart and I have some amazing memories to take forward. I’m looking forward to the last couple of months before creating further memories outside of rugby.”

Andrew Trimble with David Strettle The winger won 14 caps for England. Source: Dan Sheridan/INPHO

Saracens director of rugby Mark McCall said: “To watch Strets play, is to forget you are a coach and to be a fan of rugby.

“Competitive in the air, graceful on the run, intelligent in defence, he has produced some of the most memorable moments of skill ever seen in a Saracens jersey; often in big games, often under the greatest pressure. That is the mark of a truly great player.

“Off the field, he is a dedicated team-mate and family man. Saracens have been fortunate to have David for two spells at the club and he leaves having made Saracens a better place. We wish him and his family every success in the future.”

Before hanging up his boots, Strettle will look to play his part in Saracens’ double bid, with the north London club currently second in the Premiership while also bidding to claim their third European crown against defending champions Leinster.

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Ryan Bailey

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