RUGBY

Harinordoquy announces retirement plans

Former France backrow powerhouse Imanol Harinordoquy said on Friday that he would retire from the game at the end of the season.

Harinordoquy announces retirement plans

Former France backrow powerhouse Imanol Harinordoquy said on Friday that he will retire from the game at the end of the season.

“The decision came quite naturally, knowing that I had already prepared to call it a day two years ago after a very complicated season at Biarritz, the club's relegation and a knee that was really suffering,” the 36-year-old Harinordoquy, whose current contract with Toulouse comes to an end this season, told L'Équipe.

Harinordoquy launched his professional career with Pau in 2000 before joining Biarritz in 2004. The flanker stayed with the Basque club for 10 years before joining Toulouse in 2014. Capped 82 times for France, the forward was part of three World Cup squads (2003, 2007, 2011) and was twice crowned champion of France with Biarritz (2005, 2006), with whom he also made two European Cup finals (2006, 2010).

“This season, I've haven't played full games,” he said, having managed just five 80-minute performances out of 23 games played for Toulouse. “I feel it's become too difficult to recuperate - my knee no longer allows it. So it's a good time to stop”.