England and British & Lions prop Alex Corbisiero has opted to take a year away from the sport at the end of this season.
The 26-year-old has struggled with injuries in recent years and is set for more surgery in the coming months.
Corbisiero, who has won 22 Test caps since making his international debut in 2011, hopes that the move will allow him to improve his fitness and prolong his career.
"The decision was made before I knew that I would need that knee surgery," Corbisiero told the Sunday Times.
"My contract with Northampton Saints was up at the end of the year and I just decided not to renegotiate with Saints or speak with any other club. I am not stopping because I don't have options.
"It is a decision that I feel is necessary if, in the longer term, I'm going to be the player I want to be. It is way more mental than physical.
"It's no secret I've had a number of injuries and there's been some frustrating times. But mentally I am drained and I'm really looking forward to some time away from the game.
"Recharge my batteries, come back re-motivated, ready to crack on again."