Northampton Saints captain Dylan Hartley has revealed that he contemplated a "gap year" from the sport after his implosion last season.
Hartley was sent off in the Aviva Premiership Final before half-time as his side lost to Leicester Tigers 37-17.
The England hooker, who revealed that he also offered to stand down from the club captaincy ahead of the new season, was forced to miss the British and Irish Lions tour to Australia due to his suspension.
Now ahead of the new campaign, Hartley admitted that he considered taking a year out from the game, but instead is focused on changing his attitude towards officials and bouncing back stronger.
"My approach to dealing with referees has to change," said Hartley to the Daily Telegraph.
"I don't need a sports psychologist but I have to understand how things got to this point.
"I have sat down with [England head coach] Stuart Lancaster and I understand that he can't keep giving me a chance.
"I'm basically on my last chance with the England set-up. That is fully understood.
"It was my worst experience in rugby. I was more upset for my team and the loss than I was for myself missing the Lions. That only affected me. My sending-off affected other people. I contemplated a bit of gap year, taking some time out because of the mental strain."