Maggie Alphonsi retires from rugby to focus on Olympic shot put bid

Maggie Alphonsi
Maggie Alphonsi won 74 caps for England and was awarded an MBE for services to rugby

World Cup winner Maggie Alphonsi has retired from rugby and will focus on her bid to compete in the shot put at next year's Rio Olympics.

The Saracens flanker confirmed the news before the start of Sunday's 30-0 win over Wasps, a result that sealed the Premiership title for her team.

Alphonsi, 31, played an instrumental part in England's 21-9 World Cup final triumph against Canada in August.

She announced her retirement from internationals in September.

Alphonsi signed off her career with a try as Saracens beat Wasps Ladies in a one-sided contest at Allianz Park on Sunday.

Discussing her impeding switch to shot put in a recent interview with BBC Sport, Alphonsi said: "I'm at the bottom again and I have to go through all the mistakes to get better.

"But that's what I love about sport - that idea of having something to work towards.

"Rugby keeps a smile on my face but, in reality, I can't continue to do both if I want to compete at Olympic level.

"My plan was to get through this season and then focus on throwing and, if we win the league, I can end on a high."

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