The worlds most capped international player, Jason Leonard today (Wednesday 5th May 2004) announced his retirement from all competitive rugby at the end of this season. His last game is planned to be Neil Jenkins' testimonial match at the Millennium Stadium on Sunday 6th June. Before that he has pencilled in a farewell Twickenham appearance for the Barbarians against England on Sunday 30th May.
At the moment he is concentrating on regaining full fitness following a foot injury so that he can play a full part in NEC Harlequins push for European honours with a Parker Pen Challenge Cup Final date looming on Saturday 22nd May. Current progress is encouraging and it is hoped that Jason will play a part in the final stages of the Zurich Premiership campaign.
"This decision has been a very difficult one to make," said the England and NEC Harlequins legend. "I still love the game and will miss the dressing room banter and training sessions enormously. But after 16 years of first class rugby the body has taken a bit of a battering and there is always a danger that you will go on one year too long."
"I wanted to go out while I am still playing good rugby and a final with Quins would be a great way to finish my playing association with the club I have been with for 14 years. My family have had to put up with a lot of absences on my part over the years and the time has come to devote more of my time to them."
"I would like to thank the countless people who have helped me over the years and hope to be able to continue being involved in the game in some capacity."