Former England international Mathew Tait announces retirement

Mathew Tait has played 143 games for Leicester Tigers
Mathew Tait has played 143 games for Leicester Tigers

Former England international Mathew Tait has announced his retirement from professional rugby with immediate effect after failing to recover from an Achilles injury.

The 33-year-old last played for the club at the end of the previous season and has now called off his playing career after taking medical advice.

“It isn’t how I planned to finish up but ultimately, this ongoing problem with my Achilles has caught up with me and, on the advice of people much more in the know than me, it’s the right time to call it quits," he told the official website of the club.

“I’ve thoroughly enjoyed my time at Tigers over the past eight years. Having played against Leicester before arriving at the club, it was a dream to be able to call Welford Road home and I leave having enjoyed many special memories with a lot of special people over my time here.

“I’ve been so fortunate to achieve many things in the game and it’s hard to pinpoint one highlight, let alone a few, but obviously being able to win the Premiership with Tigers stands out, as well representing my country and, of course, playing in a World Cup Final.

“I also think being able to have played against and alongside my brother Alex is something I’ll always remember as being very special.”

Tait started his professional rugby debut with Newcastle Falcons in 2004 and switched to Sale Sharks in 2008. His association with Leicester Tigers began in 2011 and has racked up 143 appearances for the Welford Road unit since then. The 6ft full-back also helped the Premiership side to a domestic title in 2013 and led them to a European Cup semi-final in 2016 and the Anglo-Welsh Cup Final victory a year later.

“I owe a lot to a lot of people who have made it possible for me to live out my dream and I thank every one of those people who have played a role from my school days, through Newcastle and Sale, England and, of course, here at Tigers,” Tait added.

“I’m grateful for the friends I’ve made and the experiences I’ve had alongside such great team-mates and working with fantastic coaches.

“I also have to thank my family, especially my parents and my wife Alexa, and also all of the supporters from clubs I’ve represented, in particular the incredible Tigers supporters who make this club so great and make Welford Road the best club rugby ground in the world.”

Tait has played 38 Tests for England between 2005 and 2010 and was a member of the 2007 World Cup squad.