Chuter calls it a day

Mon, 14 Apr 2014 08:53
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Veteran Leicester Tigers hooker George Chuter has announced his retirement from the game with immediate effect.

Veteran Leicester Tigers hooker George Chuter has announced his retirement from the game with immediate effect.

The first man to make 250 appearances in the Premiership and a World Cup finalist with England in 2007, Chuter has played 292 first-team games in 13 seasons with Leicester Tigers.

He has played in seven Premiership finals at Twickenham, a record he shares with former Tigers club captain Geordan Murphy, has been a part of a Leicester squad which reached four European Cup finals and won 24 caps for England.

Chuter also won a Knock-out Cup with first club Saracens as a 21-year-old.

"I've not really been able to sit back and reflect until now," said the 37-year-old Chuter.

"Now I can finally get a bit of perspective and think about how long I've played the game, how many matches and how many training sessions I've been involved in. The longest period of time I've been unable to play was three weeks when I had a knee cartilage trimmed after the 2007 World Cup.

"To play nearly 300 games for Leicester and 100 for Saracens before that, plus 40 for England at various levels, gives me great pride.

"I get great satisfaction, too, from the knowledge that I've turned up for work every day and tried to get better and tried to help my teammates get better too. It's not just about the rugby, it's being part of the group with some really good mates before and after training.

"I had a great time with Saracens in my early days just after the game had gone professional, then had a year out before joining Leicester Tigers. Despite the fact Richard Cockerill and Dorian West were still playing when I first came here, it spurred me on to compete with them and become a better player.

"A lot of guys move around to find fresh challenges but I've always had my challenges here. Every day has been a challenge and that has kept me fresh and eager for so many years."

Tigers Director of Rugby Richard Cockerill said: "George has been a great servant of the club, and of professional rugby, for a long time. He has played in some very successful teams and enjoyed many great days with this club.

"He is a popular guy in the squad and with supporters, but first and foremost he has been an outstanding professional and a quality player.

"To play so many games at the top level of the club game, as well as internationally, and with the competition he has faced throughout his career, shows just how good a player he has been. It also speaks volumes for his character and his approach to his work.

"We wish him well in whatever the future brings and he will always be welcome at Welford Road."

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