1997 Lion announces retirement

Mark Regan, a tourist the last time the Lions visited South Africa 12 years ago, will retire from the professional game at the end of the current season. [more]

1997 Lion announces retirement

Mark Regan, a tourist the last time the Lions visited South Africa 12 years ago, will retire from the professional game at the end of the current season.

Regan played six times for the Lions during their victorious 1997 tour, marking his debut with a try-scoring performance in the win over the Border Bulldogs before also featuring in the games against Mpumalanga, North-Eastern Transvaal, Emerging Springboks, Northern Free State and the third Test against the Springboks.

A World Cup winner with England in 2003 and a finalist in Paris four years later, Regan won 46 caps for his country.

The 37-year-old Bristol hooker won the Heineken Cup with Bath in 1998 and the Powergen Cup with both Bath and Leeds later in his career.

Regan, who is considering a number of business-related opportunities after his retirement, will see out the 2008/09 season at the Memorial Ground before continuing to take his RFU coaching badges.

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"I can truly say that I have loved every single minute of my rugby career,” said Regan, who has made more than 400 first-class appearances and has represented the Barbarians and a World XV on eight occasions.

” Any other sports professional will understand how difficult it is to make the decision to retire, and this announcement has not been an easy thought process.

"I realise I have lived the dream of any kid who has picked up a rugby ball and wanted to wear the red rose of England.

"I’m extremely proud of the career I have had and I’d like to thank everyone who I have worked with over the years, from developing through the school and age-group ranks through to the international level and my current employers Bristol.

"I have enjoyed 20 years at the top of the game and have been in regular dialogue with Bristol Rugby since the turn of the year. I may be retiring from playing, but I’m not retiring from being involved in rugby, the world of business and the community in general."

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