Northampton Saints second-row James Craig to retire at end of season

James Craig has been with Northampton Saints since 2011
James Craig has been with Northampton Saints since 2011
©PA

Northampton Saints lock James Craig has confirmed that he will quit professional rugby at the end of the ongoing season.

The 30-year-old started his career with Leeds Carnegie and shifted to Northampton Saints in 2011. Having impressed in the Anglo-Welsh Cup in 2012, Craig's career was hampered by injuries but went on to enjoy a double success of Premiership and European Challenge Cup in 2014.

His consistent performances for the Saints earned him a call-up to England Saxons' squad for their 2016 tour of South Africa. Having spent in the training role of Northampton Academy over the last four seasons, Craig will now take the role on full-time basis.

“After eight years of professional rugby I have made the decision to call time on my career, but I am extremely proud to have contributed so much at Franklin’s Gardens,” he told the official website of Northampton Saints.

“I have been battling injuries for some time now, but I am so grateful to my teammates and all the medical and backroom staff at the Club for everything they have done for me during my time here.

“Thanks also must go to my friends and family, as well as Northampton’s loyal supporters, for all their encouragement during my career.

“I am continuing to try and help the squad as much as possible until my contract is complete, but I am excited to see what the future holds.

“The opportunity to coach the Club’s Academy over the last couple of seasons has been invaluable experience for me, so my thanks must go to Simon Sinclair and Mark Hopley for their support with that. I hope to take my next steps into a full-time coaching career in the coming months.”

Northampton Saints are currently in contention for play-off in the ongoing season of Gallagher Premiership with 51 points from 20 games and will take on Worcester Warriors and Exeter Chiefs in the final two rounds.

Premiership Rugby 2018/19 - Points Table