Saracens’ ex-All Black captain Taine Randell will retire at the end of the season.
The 31-year-old back-rower, who joined Saracens in 2003, will take up a financial job in the City of London. “I’m very happy to finish now. It just feels like the right time,” said Randell, who won 51 caps for New Zealand, including 19 as captain.
“I’ve got some very fond memories. I made my debut when I was 17 and if I knew then what I knew now, I wouldn’t have made any different choices,” Randell told the BBC.
Randell played for Otago in New Zealand before his move to Saracens. He has made 69 appearances for Saracens and was named the club’s Player of the Year in his first season.
“The highlight of my career has definitely been playing for the All Blacks,” said Randell. “I still remember vividly where I was when it was first announced that I’d be playing for them.
“It’s the highest accolade any New Zealand rugby player could have. I also take a lot of pride from the fact that I only played for one province in New Zealand and one club in England.”
Randell will miss the final home game of the season against Leicester on Friday night but hopes to be fit for London Irish a week later.
And Randell says he is pleased with the way Saracens have picked up their form after a poor spell earlier this season. “It’s been a frustrating last season for me as I’ve had a few injuries,” he said. “But when Saracens were struggling a few months ago, I can take a bit if pride that we managed to turn things around.
“Saracens will always hold a special place in my heart and I’m glad I’ve had the chance to play at a club like this.”