Andy Long, the hooker of the Aviva Premiership side the Northampton Saints who was due to switch sides to Gloucester Rugby during the off season has been forced to call time on his career after being unable to overcome a degenerative neck injury.
The 34 year old was on his way to Gloucester Rugby and the deal was also done but after medical advice, Andy has decided that his time in the sport is up. Long had won two international caps for England and he was also a part of The Saints side that lost in the Aviva Premiership playoff semi final match to the eventual winners Harlequin FC, which was his 201st appearance in a top flight game.
Speaking about his retirement from the game, Andy Long stated that it was devastating that he could not contribute to the cause of Gloucester Rugby in the way that he had hoped to do but also added that he had no regrets over the way his career finished. Moreover, he was also pleased to have played for a club like the Northampton Saints for so long and that his final game in a long career came in a playoff semi final.
Born in Poole, Andy Long had been somewhat of a journeyman player, having represented Bath Rugby, Munster, Rotherham, as well as the Newcastle Falcons and he joined The Jimmies in the middle of the 2009/10 season. Although it took him some time to break into the top 15 at Franklin’s Gardens, Long was hugely influential in The Saints’ run to the playoffs this season.
The management at Northampton Saints wished the player well for his retired life and in a statement from the board, thanked the 34 year old for the services that he rendered to the club in his three seasons.