Lee Smith announces retirement from professional rugby

Former England international Lee Smith has decided to hang up his boots and become an agent.

The 32-year-old utility-back came through the ranks at hometown club Leeds Rhinos and went on to play for Wakefield Trinity, Leigh Centurions and Bradford Bulls.

Smith earned eight England caps between 2006-09, and also had two spells in rugby union with London Wasps and Newcastle Falcons.

On his decision to retire, Smith said: “So today I announce I’m retiring from professional rugby, a day I suppose no rugby player looks forward to, but it unfortunately comes to everyone someday.

“I couldn’t have enjoyed my time in rugby any more. From the age of eight to 32, I’ve loved every minute and I’ve achieved far more than I could ever have imagined.

“To have represented my country at the highest level and have the success I’ve had with my hometown club is something I’m immensely proud of.

“I have brilliant memories from my time at every club I represented and the friends I have from the sport is amazing.

“I’ve been fortunate enough to make over 250 appearances and to walk away with not having a major operation is something freakish in today’s sporting world and this has certainly played a part in my decision.

“I’m happy, I’m healthy and I’m very much looking forward to the next chapter of my career which I hope will still be involved in the game as a sports agent.”

Smith won three Grand Finals and a World Club Challenge Cup with Leeds, as well as picking up the Harry Sunderland Trophy in the 2008 Grand Final.

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