Yorkshire Carnegie second-row Dean Schofield insists it was “not a tough decision” to retire after the ex-England lock revealed he would quit after the forthcoming Championship play-offs.
Schofield, 38, has spent the last two seasons at Headingley lending valuable experience to Bryan Redpath’s squad although he is unlikely to feature in Friday’s semi-final first leg at Ealing Trailfinders.
A Premiership winner with Sale Sharks in 2005-06, where he also lifted the European Challenge Cup, the forward represented England twice against South Africa in 2007.
Originally starting his career at Wakefield, Schofield also featured with French side Toulon, Worcester Warriors and London Welsh.
“It wasn’t a tough decision to finally decide to retire,” said Schofield, who has played 10 times this season to help Carnegie finish second, including their most recent win over Ealing in the club’s final regular Championship fixture.
“I have enjoyed a fantastic career but at 38 I am ready to hang up my boots.
“I have been going for 17 years and it is time to move on to the next stage.
“The two years at Yorkshire Carnegie have been brilliant.
“Being in a winning environment and becoming friends with some great lads has been brilliant.
“I am here for the lads and will play my part in training to prepare them for the semi-finals and stay professional to the end.”
Carnegie head coach Bryan Redpath, a former team-mate at Sharks, added: “I have known Dean since his early days at Sale.
“He is a great guy who is an example to any player about how you can seize the opportunities that rugby gives you.
“What he has given the lads here at Yorkshire Carnegie in the last two years is second to none.
“His knowledge, energy and the simplicity with which he sees the game has been fantastic.
“He is a big man who does his job well. It would be nice to send him off in the right manner this season.”
Meanwhile, Carnegie centre Peter Lucock has signed a new deal for 2017-18.