England centre Allen forced to retire

Date published: June 24 2015

Leicester Tigers centre Anthony Allen has been forced to retire from rugby after failing to recover fully from a knee injury.

The Leicester Mercury revealed the news on Tuesday that Allen will be hanging up his boots at the age of 28.

Allen made 124 appearances for Leicester after joining from Gloucester 2009, where he made his debut in 2005. He went on to win two caps for England and was named man of the match in Leicester's Premiership Final win in 2013.

"It is very disappointing for any professional when they realise they have reached the end of their playing career and I obviously did not expect to play my last game at such a young age," said Allen.

"But it is something I have had to come to terms with after rehabbing a knee problem for much of last season.

"I've played alongside and against so many great players, I played in five Premiership Finals with Gloucester and Leicester, played for my country and have shared in many massive occasions in 10 years as a player.

"I'd like to thank the Tigers for their support throughout this process and also thank my family and friends for all their support throughout my career.

"Last, but not least, the supporters at both Gloucester and Leicester Tigers have always been amazing to me and I will hugely miss running out on to the pitch every weekend."

Leicester boss Richard Cockerill added his sadness at the news that Allen was unable to play on, while hinting that with his knowledge of the sport he could become a top coach.

"Anthony has been a great success as a Leicester player, becoming one of the most consistent and influential players in the Aviva Premiership during his six seasons with the club," said Cockerill.

"It is extremely disappointing for him and for the club that he has been advised to retire from playing at such a young age and at the peak of his career.

"Anthony has an excellent understanding of the game and we hope to be able to use that knowledge within the club in the future."