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Aviva Premiership
Hooker Long calls time on career
ESPN Staff
May 31, 2012
Northampton Saints hooker Andy Long prepares to throw in, Northampton Saints v Leicester Tigers, Aviva Premiership, Franklin's Gardens, Northampton, April 14, 2012
Andy Long has called time on his career © Getty Images
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Northampton Saints hooker Andy Long has been forced to retire from rugby with immediate effect.

Long was turning out for the Northampton Saints last term and had agreed to join Gloucester for next season. With over 201 Premiership appearances to his name, Long possessed a wealth of experience in England's top-flight but following medical advice, Long has announced his retirement due to a degenerative neck injury.

"I've achieved everything I wanted to achieve out of rugby," Long said. "I started playing aged four and went all the way to the top to play for England at Twickenham. I've had 200 games of Premiership Rugby and played for some great clubs who have all had magnificent supporters, and I'm 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.

"I am devastated that I was not able to contribute to Gloucester in the way that I hoped as I was really excited about playing for such a great club, but am nevertheless glad that my career finished in the way that it did, playing for a great club like Northampton in the Premiership knockouts.

"I have had an awesome time playing for some great coaches and alongside some world-class players and I've learned something from every club I have been at."

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