Rob Vickers: Newcastle Falcons prop to retire after 12 years at club
Newcastle Falcons prop Rob Vickers will retire from playing rugby at the end of the season after 12 years at the club.
Vickers, 36, has played 260 times for Falcons, helping them reach the end-of-season Premiership play-offs for the first time in their history.
He has spent his entire professional career at Kingston Park and was given a testimonial in September.
"It's been a lot of games and years, and it's hard to put into words how much this club means to me," he said.
"I feel as though I've still been contributing to the team this season but I've always said I didn't want to stay on too long and be that player who just hangs around, and eventually falls off a cliff.
"For me this is the perfect time with the team flying high, with me still playing a genuine part, and it just feels like the moment to step aside and let someone else come through."
Vickers has been at Newcastle since his days as a student at Durham University, making his debut in the 2006-07 season, and he stayed despite their relegation in 2012.
He has played in 18 of their 21 Premiership matches this term and remains available for the remainder of this campaign.
Falcons director of rugby Dean Richards told the club website: "Bobby is just an incredible person and a fabulous member of our group.
"I know the crowd will give him a huge ovation on Saturday at the Wasps game, which will be richly deserved, but with a Premiership semi-final and hopefully a final to come he still has a big part to play in the success of this club."