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Anthony Allen announces retirement from playing

Leicester Tigers centre Anthony Allen has announced his retirement from professional rugby due to a knee injury at the age of just 28.

Capped twice by England in 2006, Allen joined Tigers in 2009 after more than 90 appearances with Gloucester.

He made 124 first-team appearances in six seasons with Leicester, playing in four Premiership Finals, including the club's title-winning seasons in 2010 and 2013. He was a Premiership Final try-scorer against Harlequins in 2012 and Man of the Match in the win over Northampton Saints a year later.

Tigers Players' Player of the Year in 2010/11, Allen's consistency in a club shirt took him back into the England squad, including the South Africa tour in the summer of 2012.

Appointed Tigers vice-captain before the 2013/14 season, Allen made his 100th start for the club in the Round 4 win at Exeter Chiefs, becoming the 207th player in the club's history to reach that landmark.

He made 11 appearances in the 2014/15 season, playing his last game in the Aviva Premiership fixture at Harlequins in January.

Leicester Tigers director of rugby Richard Cockerill said: "Anthony has been a great success as a Leicester player, becoming one of the most consistent and influential players in the Aviva Premiership during his six seasons with the club.

"He has always been appreciated by team-mates and coaches here for his work at the core of the team, as well as for his individual ability. He has also played a big role in helping the development of young players like Manu Tuilagi and Owen Williams alongside him in the backline.

"It is extremely disappointing for him and for the club that he has been advised to retire from playing at such a young age and at the peak of his career. Anthony has an excellent understanding of the game and we hope to be able to use that knowledge within the club in the future."

Announcing his retirement, Allen said: "It is very disappointing for any professional when they realise they have reached the end of their playing career and I obviously did not expect to play my last game at such a young age. But it is something I have had to come to terms with after rehabbing a knee problem for much of last season.

"I've played alongside and against so many great players, I played in five Premiership Finals with Gloucester and Leicester, played for my country and have shared in many massive occasions in 10 years as a player.

"I'd like to thank the Tigers for their support throughout this process and also thank my family and friends for all their support throughout my career, through the good times and bad.

"Last but not least, all the supporters at both Gloucester and Leicester Tigers have always been amazing to me and I will hugely miss running out on to the pitch every weekend."
 

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