Andy Long, pictured for Northampton Saints, has joined Gloucester - PA Sport
Rugby > Premiership

Long forced to retire

Long forced to retire

By PA Sport
Last update 31/05/2012 at 21:49 - Published on 31/05/2012 at 21:48
By PA Sport - 31/05/2012 at 21:49

Former England hooker Andy Long has been forced to retire from rugby with immediate effect.

Long, 34, was set to leave Northampton this summer and join their Aviva Premiership rivals Gloucester, but those hopes have been dashed due to the effects of a degenerative neck injury.

Long won two Test caps, making his debut in Clive Woodward's first game as head coach against Australia at Twickenham in 1997.

"I have achieved everything I wanted to achieve out of rugby," said Long, who also had spells with Bath, Munster, Rotherham and Newcastle.

"I've had 200 games of Premiership rugby and played for some great clubs who have all had magnificent supporters, and I am at peace with the fact I'm having to retire.

"That said, I had signed for Gloucester so I wanted my career to continue, but I'd been carrying an injury which was causing me a few problems towards the end of last season and the rehabilitation time from an operation would have meant that I would have been on the sidelines well into next season too."

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