Tigers and England Scrum Half Harry Ellis Forced To Retire

Leicester Tigers and England scrum-half Harry Ellis has announced his retirement from professional rugby after an ongoing battle with injury.

Ellis 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.

But in 2007 he missed an entire season after rupturing the ACL in his left knee, an injury qwhich required a knee reconstruction.

Subsequently constant niggles and pain meant he was only able to start 24 games in three seasons and a jarring injury to the same knee in a match against Newcastle last season proved to be the final straw.

A constant diet of painkillers and fluid draining procedures were taking their toll on the rest of his body and when highly-regarded orthopaedic surgeon Andy Williams said it was time to stop, ellis accepted the verdict.

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, but when someone like Andy Williams says you should call it a day, you have to take his advice.

“As well as my rugby, there was also my health to think about. The amount of painkillers I was taking every day was causing my stomach real problems as a result.

“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.”