Castaignede announces retirement
PA Sport
May 10, 2007

France star Thomas Castaignede has announced his retirement from club rugby.

The 32-year-old will continue training though, hoping to gain selection for France's tour of New Zealand next month and then the World Cup in September and October.

Castaignede, a gifted attacking talent at fly-half, centre or full-back, joined Saracens from French club Castres in 2000, but he has decided not to pursue a new contract with the Guinness Premiership club.

``I knew at the start of the year that this would be my last season,'' Castaignede told The Guardian.

``My years in England have allowed me to experience a different style of rugby, a new culture and some fine people.''

Castaignede's final Saracens appearance came in the 50-9 Premiership play-off defeat against Gloucester at Kingsholm last Saturday, but he is to remain based in north London as he concentrates on a career in banking.

Before joining Saracens, he helped Toulouse land four French titles and the Heineken Cup.

He added: ``I hope I will go to the World Cup, and then I will stop afterwards. But there are no certainties for anyone, there are several stages to get there.

``However, I will keep training flat out. Mentally and physically, I want to be ready.''

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