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.''
Monday Maul takes in retirement talk, England reshuffles, France's unfair advantage and Scotland's communication breakdown
John Griffiths takes an analytical look at Week 3 of ESPN Scrum's Fantasy Rugby game - who should you have picked?
Ireland coach Joe Schmidt won the tactical battle and set his team on course for a shot at the Grand Slam. Tom Hamilton reports from Dublin
With the World Cup only a few months away, the last thing France needed was doubts over the future of their coach, writes Huw Richards