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'Rugby hurts': Former France hooker Szarzewski retires

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Le Plessis-Robinson (France) (AFP)

Former France hooker Dimitri Szarzewski announced his immediate retirement from rugby on Wednesday due to various injury problems.

"All these years, I haven't been saved from injuries, but now my body says stop. Rugby hurts," the 83-time international said in a statement.

"My body's suffering. I could have continued a few more months but I couldn't take responsibility of my role as captain. I spend the most of my time on the physio's table," the Racing 92 skipper added.

His final international appearance came in the embarrassing World Cup quarter-final defeat to New Zealand in 2015.

Four years earlier he had lost in the final of the same competition to the All Blacks after having lifted the Six Nations on three occasions with Les Bleus.

He won the French Top 14 with Stade Francais in 2007 before crossing Paris and lifting the title with Racing nine years later.

The 36-year-old will finish the campaign early and miss the end-of-season play-offs as Racing host La Rochelle on Friday.

Szarzewski will take up a role as a coach in the club's academy.

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