Anthony Allen: Leicester Tigers centre retires because of injury

Anthony Allen
Anthony Allen was man of the match when Leicester beat Northampton at Twickenham to win the 2013 Premiership title

Leicester Tigers centre Anthony Allen has been forced to retire at the age of 28 because of a knee injury.

Allen, who won two England caps, played 124 times for Tigers after joining from Gloucester in 2009.

He appeared in four Premiership finals for Leicester, winning two, but he only played 11 times last season.

"I did not expect to play my last game at such a young age. But it's something I have had to come to terms with. It's extremely disappointing," Allen said.

"I've played alongside and against so many great players, I played in five Premiership finals with Gloucester and Leicester, played for my country and have shared in many massive occasions in 10 years as a player.

"I'd like to thank the Tigers for their support throughout this process and also thank my family and friends. I will hugely miss running out on to the pitch every weekend."

Allen, who was named Leicester's vice-captain before the start of the 2013-14 season, represented England in 2006 and was recalled to the international set-up for the tour to South Africa in 2012.

Anthony Allen(right) and New Zealand's Dan Carter
Allen's international debut came against a New Zealand side including Dan Carter in November 2006

Tigers director of rugby Richard Cockerill said: "Anthony has been a great success as a Leicester player, becoming one of the most consistent and influential players in the Premiership during his six seasons with the club.

"He has always been appreciated by team-mates and coaches here for his work at the core of the team, as well as for his individual ability.

"He has also played a big role in helping the development of young players like Manu Tuilagi and Owen Williams alongside him in the backline.

"Anthony has an excellent understanding of the game and we hope to be able to use that knowledge within the club in the future."