Bracken backs out

Following the news that Matt Dawson was to call it quits at the end of the season recently, another veteran England scrumhalf, Kyran Bracken, has announced he will be retiring too.

The news will be greeted with more applause from Southern Hemisphere rugby fans, who cheered loudly when Dawson revealed his imminent departure from the game.

He will retire at the end of the season. The 34-year-old was part of England’s Rugby World Cup-winning squad and won 51 caps for England.

“I’ve really enjoyed my last season with the club despite it not living up to our expectations,” he told the BBC. “There’s no chance I’m going to change my mind.”

“I’ve been lucky enough to have played at the top level for a long time and I’ve got no complaints. It’s definitely the right time to hang up my boots.”

Bracken joined Saracens from Bristol in 1996 and has played 206 times for the Vicarage Road side.

His 51 England caps came despite having to compete for the number nine shirt with Dawson. Bracken has been battling with a long-term back injury and said that had played a large part in his decision to retire.

“If my back was in good nick and I was enjoying my rugby, which I am at the moment, then I think I’d probably stay,” he said.

“But if you watch the difference between me play now and five years ago, the bend in my back is vastly different.”