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Louis Deacon announces his retirement

Leicester Tigers and England second row Louis Deacon has announced his retirement from professional rugby with immediate effect.

Deacon made 274 appearances for Tigers as part of a squad that won six Premiership titles and became champions of Europe twice.
 
He is now embarking on a new chapter in his career and has been gaining experience with the Tigers sponsorship and community departments as well as coaching with the Spain squad who opened their European Championships campaign with a 43-20 win over Russia, their first victory in that fixture for 12 years.
 
Deacon was twice voted Tigers Players' Player of the Season and won the first of his 29 Test caps with England in 2005.
 
During his benefit year in 2012/13, a Legends Match at Welford Road which included appearances from Martin Johnson, Martin Corry, Lewis Moody and Darren Garforth, as well as Deacon's younger brother Brett, attracted a crowd of 16,000, beating the gate at any domestic rugby fixture that weekend.
 
He played junior rugby with Syston and Wigston before joining the Tigers youth system and made his senior debut against Cardiff in August 2000 as a 19-year-old.
 
Tigers director of rugby Richard Cockerill said: "Deacs is the epitome of the Leicester lad who came through at his hometown club to play at the very highest level of the game.
 
"He has always maintained the ethos of working hard and earning the respect of team-mates first and foremost, and he has been a central part of what makes this club tick for a long time.
 
"He has played in some very successful teams and enjoyed many big days in the team's colours. He has had the respect of those who have worked with him and those who have played against him over the last 14 seasons.
 
"We wish him well for the future and he will always be part of the Tigers Family at Welford Road.”
 
Deacon, 34, said: "The game has moved massively in the 14 years since I made my debut, but I've loved every moment of it.
 
"I have said many times that all I ever wanted to do was play one game for the Leicester Tigers, so to have the opportunity to do that more than 270 times, in massive games all over Europe and alongside so many great players, has been a huge honour. I had hoped to get to 300 but my body has finally beaten me!
 
"I believe loyalty is an important quality in the game and I've been very loyal to Leicester over a long time. It is the kind of club that you want to be part of for as long as possible in your career.
 
"I'd like to thank all of the players, coaches and staff who have been part of my career and also thank all of the Tigers supporters. I wish the Tigers all the very best for the future.
 
"I'll miss the training and the playing, and being part of a group of players who want to do their best for the team week in, week out.
 
"But now it is time to take on a new challenge, whether that is in the game or somewhere else.”

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