(Reuters) – Welsh flyhalf Dan Biggar has announced that he will retire from international rugby after the upcoming World Cup in France, drawing the curtain on a 15-year career.
The 33-year-old, who plays for French Top 14 side Toulon, made his debut for his country at the age of 19 against Canada in November 2008. He has since been capped more than 100 times.
“I’ve decided to call time on my Wales career after the World Cup. It’s 15 years since I turned up to my first camp and it feels like the right time to walk away,” Biggar wrote in his column for The Mail on Sunday.
“I have a young family in France now, and I don’t think it’s fair for me to keep getting on a flight every autumn, summer and Six Nations.”
“Playing 10 for Wales takes its toll … There have been plenty of moments when I’ve copped it and I’m proud of how long I’ve lasted.”
Biggar has won three Six Nations titles and a Grand Slam with Wales. He also captained them during their Six Nations campaign last year.
“To be brutally honest, my body has started to feel more like a 33-year-old’s in the last 12 months. I still feel great on the pitch but the recovery days and the days off are getting a little harder,” he wrote.
“I’ve always wanted to stop on my own terms. If I don’t retire myself then I know I will get pushed out eventually … I have seen so many great players get phased out by injury or selection and I didn’t want that to happen to me.”
Wales are in Pool C at the World Cup alongside Fiji, Australia, Georgia and Portugal and begin their campaign against Fiji in Bordeaux on Sept. 10.
“But I’m not going to France to enjoy the weather and have a bit of a kickaround in the sun,” Biggar, who is set to play his third World Cup, added.
“I want to go out with as much of a bang as possible. The dream would be to get out of the group, go deep into the tournament and go out on a real high.”
(Reporting by Pearl Josephine Nazare in Bengaluru; editing by Robert Birsel)