Rugby Union

Saracens' former England fly-half Charlie Hodgson is to retire from playing at the end of this season.

Charlie Hodgson confirms he will retire at end of season

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Former England fly-half Charlie Hodgson has confirmed that he will retire from playing at the end of this season.

Hodgson, 35, will remain with his current club Saracens, taking up a role as the Aviva Premiership champions' head of recruitment and talent identification.

He won 38 England caps, scoring a record 44 points on his Test debut against Romania 14 years ago, while he also toured New Zealand with the 2005 British and Irish Lions.

Hodgson joined Saracens from their Premiership rivals Sale Sharks in 2011, and he is the Premiership's top scorer with almost 2,500 career points in the competition.

"I am extremely excited to be taking up the new role at the end of the season," said Hodgson, in a statement released by Saracens.

" It was a very tough call to make, as being a rugby player is the only thing I've ever known in my working life.

"In one sense, my career seems to have lasted a lifetime, and in another sense, it's just flown by.

"It was a difficult decision to make, but my body is now telling me that it's probably the right thing to do.

"I have been presented with an amazing opportunity to be here at Saracens in a different capacity, and it's an opportunity I felt that I just couldn't turn down.

"I've been very lucky in my career to have played for two fantastic clubs in Sale and Saracens. Having the chance to play for my country and tour with the Lions was a real honour, and something that I will always cherish."

Saracens rugby director Mark McCall added: "We are delighted that Charlie will be staying on at Saracens in such an important capacity.

"As a guy with such rugby knowledge and intelligence, Charlie is tailor-made for the role and he will prove to be a huge asset for the club going forward.

"In the past, we have seen the likes of Paul Gustard, Alex Sanderson, Kevin Sorrell, Kevin Barrett, Andy Edwards and Don Barrell transfer from the playing staff into the back-room team with great success. We think that such continuity in personnel is key for us."

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