Saracens' Alistair Hargreaves retires from rugby
Saracens lock forward Alistair Hargreaves has retired from rugby following a concussion injury.
The 30-year-old made 79 appearances for Sarries after joining the club from Super Rugby franchise Sharks in 2012.
In his first season as club captain the South Africa international led Saracens to the Premiership title in the 2014-15 season.
Hargreaves, who won four international caps for the Springboks, told www.saracens.com: "It's been a very tough decision to make. I've suffered a number of concussions in the last two seasons and after seeking medical advice I've come to the conclusion that the risk is outweighing the reward.
"I have a young family, I have to make decisions that are right by them and although this was a hard decision for me personally it's one that I feel is the right one to make.
"My period at Saracens has been the best four years of my life - It's been an absolutely phenomenal time. Everyone at Allianz Park; the players, the coaches, the backroom team and the fans, have all contributed to this incredible experience.
"It's an experience that I didn't expect when I arrived, but I leave as a Saracens man to the core. My time in South Africa was fantastic, it was great to play for the Sharks and be capped by the Springboks but this time at Saracens has been my highlight."
Saracens' director of rugby Mark McCall said: "The welfare of our players is of paramount importance - we are fully supportive of Alistair's decision.
"Since arriving in 2012 Alistair has developed into one of the most influential players within the squad. He has played a key role in our recent success with his character, hard work and leadership coming to the fore over the last four seasons.
"We wish Alistair, his wife Carmen and their young son the very best for the future."