Castaignede announces retirement
May 10, 2007
France star Thomas Castaignede has announced his retirement from club rugby.
The 32-year-old will continue training though, hoping to gain selection for France's tour of New Zealand next month and then the World Cup in September and October.
Castaignede, a gifted attacking talent at fly-half, centre or full-back, joined Saracens from French club Castres in 2000, but he has decided not to pursue a new contract with the Guinness Premiership club.
``I knew at the start of the year that this would be my last season,'' Castaignede told The Guardian.
``My years in England have allowed me to experience a different style of rugby, a new culture and some fine people.''
Castaignede's final Saracens appearance came in the 50-9 Premiership play-off defeat against Gloucester at Kingsholm last Saturday, but he is to remain based in north London as he concentrates on a career in banking.
Before joining Saracens, he helped Toulouse land four French titles and the Heineken Cup.
He added: ``I hope I will go to the World Cup, and then I will stop afterwards. But there are no certainties for anyone, there are several stages to get there.
``However, I will keep training flat out. Mentally and physically, I want to be ready.''
"Some people have it from day one and Brian did." Tom Hamilton talks to the two players who made their Ireland debuts alongside Brian O'Driscoll back in June 1999
Despite having lost all four of their 2014 Six Nations games, the future of Italian rugby is bright with the team showing a new youthful core, argues Enrico Borra
"The loudest cheer at a rugby game, away from social media gimmicks, pumping music and pyrotechnics will always be for a try." Tom Hamilton on the Twickenham atmosphere
"The only thing that will stop this England team from becoming a great team is themselves. They need to ask themselves 'what can we be?'" The Phil Vickery column