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03:54 | 17th August 2017

News: UK

Tue 17 May, 2011
By Sam Bristowe


To be honest, I would never have imagined my career was going to move in this direction after my professional rugby career, but here we are - it's happening

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England winger Cohen retires from rugby to battle homophobia

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Winger Ben Cohen, who played in England's 2003 World Cup winning side has announced his retirement from rugby after being released by Sale Sharks.

The 32-year-old former Northampton and Brive flyer, who scored 31 tries in 57 Tests for England, said he believed he could play on for another two years but he has turned down offers from clubs in both England and France.

Instead Cohen will focus on heading up the Ben Cohen Stand Up Foundation, an organisation set up to tackle bullying and homophobia.

"To be honest, I would never have imagined my career was going to move in this direction after my professional rugby career, but here we are - it's happening," he said.



Cohen is the latest of England's 2003 veterans to hang up his boots.

The only members of England's starting XV from the World Cup final victory over Australia still playing are Jonny Wilkinson, Steve Thompson, Lewis Moody and Mike Tindall, though Josh Lewsey made a brief comeback for Wasps this season.

Cohen made his Northampton debut at 17 and was part of the Saints team that won the 2000 European Cup, the same season in which he made his England debut.

Quick, powerful and a top-class finisher, Cohen became an integral member of the England side that went on to win the World Cup in Australia.

Cohen played on for England until 2006 but he struggled to hit those heights again. He spent 18 months with Brive before returning to the Aviva Premiership to join Sale, all the while living in Northampton.

Source: AFP

 

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