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Harry Ellis announces retirement from playing

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Leicester Tigers scrum-half Harry Ellis has announced his retirement from professional rugby.

A product of local clubs South Leicester and Wigston, Harry has played all of his professional club rugby at Leicester Tigers, making 173 first-team appearances.

He graduated from the Tigers Academy ranks and announced his arrival in senior rugby with semi-final try against Llanelli in 2002 which helped to ensure the club’s appearance in a second successive Heineken Cup Final.

His tally of 29 tries for the club also included a score at Twickenham in the 2008 Guinness Premiership Final.

After being capped by England at every level from Under-16 to Under-21, ‘A’ and Sevens, Harry made his senior international debut against South Africa in 2004 and appeared in every game of the Six Nations campaigns in 2005, 2006, 2007 and 2009, gaining 27 senior caps.

He also gained selection for the British & Irish Lions tour to South Africa in the summer of 2009, playing in the third Test.

The 28-year-old said: “The most difficult decision for any player to make is about when they have to stop playing. But, after taking medical advice, unfortunately I have to announce my retirement.

“I’ve loved every minute of my rugby career with Leicester Tigers, England and the British & Irish Lions.

“I would like to thank the club and medical staff for their help in my time at Leicester and thank all of my colleagues and the fans who have given me such great support.

“This is not the way I wanted to end my career because I have always taken great enjoyment from the game of rugby and I have some very special memories. But now I will have to consider other options for the future and take on a new challenge.”

Leicester Tigers head coach Richard Cockerill said: “Harry is a local lad who made a big impression when he first broke into the Tigers team as a teenager.

“He has always had a great strength of character and was afraid of nothing when he wore a Tigers shirt.

“It is always a sad day when injury ends the career of any player, and Harry has been a valuable and popular member of the squad here for almost 10 years.

“We wish him well in whatever the future may hold for him and thank him for his service to the Club.”