Northampton’s former England back-row Tom Wood will retire from rugby at the end of the season.
The 35-year-old moved to Saints from Worcester in 2010 and played 240 times for the club, scoring 22 tries.
He won the Premiership and European Challenge Cup with Saints in 2014 and was part of the side that made the 2011 European Champions Cup final.
He helped Northampton win the 2019 Premiership Cup and won 50 England caps as well as two Six Nations titles.
The 2011 Premiership Player of the Season has not played since sustaining a shoulder injury in February.
“Northampton Saints has been such a big part of my life and I’ve made some very special memories,” Wood said.
“I feel privileged to have been able to pull on the jersey here for the past 12 seasons alongside some incredible players.
“Obviously, retiring is a difficult and emotional decision for any player. I’ve not been able to make as much of a contribution on the pitch as I’d have liked this season due to injury, but that’s the nature of professional sport.
“I’m very proud of my playing career with both Saints and England, and I want to thank all of Saints’ supporters who have embraced me during my time here.”
‘Tough, uncompromising, and skilful’
As well as winning Six Nations titles in 2011 and 2017, Wood was also part of England’s squads at the 2011 and 2015 World Cups.
“It was a privilege to have coached Tom for a large part of his international career,” said former England head coach Stuart Lancaster.
“He was tough, uncompromising, and skilful and held himself and others to the highest of standards. I have particularly fond memories of his captaincy during the Argentina tour in 2013 where he was exceptional in leading a younger team and helping them achieve their potential.
“His longevity as a player is a testament to his professionalism and commitment and I am certain with all the qualities he has, whichever path he chooses next, he will have success.”
Northampton director of rugby Chris Boyd added: “You can’t overstate the contribution he’s made on the field, and if you look at his entire career in Northampton, there aren’t many people who have done more for the jersey in the history of the club.
“In any organisation – elite sport or otherwise – it is so important to have people within that are deeply, emotionally connected to that organisation.
“Woody’s that sort of guy; he’s been an incredible competitor and the ultimate team man, and I know everyone at Franklin’s Gardens wishes him the very best for his retirement.”