A true Lion calls it a day

Former Lions tourist Martin Corry will retire from professional rugby at the end of the current season. [more]

A true Lion calls it a day

Former Lions tourist Martin Corry will retire from professional rugby at the end of the current season.

The Leicester Tigers club captain played in all six Tests on the 2001 and 2005 Lions tours of Australia and New Zealand and also accumulated 64 caps for England.

The 35-year-old captained his country on 14 occasions during his 10-year-international career and won every honour possible with the Tigers.

Corry led Leicester to a domestic double in 2007 to take his tally of trophies with the Club to five Premiership titles, two Heineken Cups and an EDF Energy Cup since joining the Welford Road outfit in 1997.

“The hardest decision a player ever has to make is when it is time to all it a day,” said Corry, who will officially bring an end to an illustrious career after the Heineken Cup Final on May 23. 

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“I have enjoyed many fantastic moments in my career at club and international level, and if it was down to heart and mind I would love to continue playing.

“But unfortunately I have taken specialist medical advice and my body has said that is it.

“I have been able to play the game I love as a professional for a long time and I have some great memories."

Corry played no part in Leicester’s Guinness Premiership semi-final win over Bath on Saturday afternoon but he could still be involved in next week’s final against London Irish or the following weekend’s showpiece clash with Leinster at Murrayfield. 

“If I can get on the field in the last two games then great,” added Corry, who was a late call up to Graham Henry’s Lions squad eight years ago but finished as one of the tour’s outstanding performers. 

“But I don’t think Cockers (Leicester coach Richard Cockerill) and sentiment go hand in hand.

"If I deserve it great but I don’t want a bit of charity at the end."

Tigers chief executive and ex Lion Peter Wheeler was one of many respected figures to pay tribute to Corry’s achievements, as was former Lions skipper and now England team manager Martin Johnson.

“Martin has always been a guy to rely on, whether that is on the pitch, within the club, the country and the Lions,” said Wheeler.

“Wherever he has gone in rugby, even if people have tried to leave him out of sides, he has dominated.

“He was left out of the Lions and came in and was man of the series and was left out by England and came back to captain the team.

“His values in life are those that everybody aspires to and it seems to come naturally to him.”

“For eight years it was a privilege to play alongside Martin Corry for Tigers, England and the British & Irish Lions,” added Johnson.

“Martin was one of the most wholehearted and committed players that I ever played alongside. I have some fantastic memories of the times we were part of the same team.”

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