Abendanon 'no choice' but to retire due to virus season freeze

Paris (AFP) –


Former England full-back Nick Abendanon said on Sunday he was retiring due to a lack of an opportunity to prove his quality with the French Top 14 season on hold due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Abendanon, 33, who made his two Test appearances in 2007, joined French club Clermont in 2014 after nine seasons with Bath and his contract finishes this summer.

"It's difficult but at the end of June, I have to stop, I haven't got a choice," Abendanon told newspaper Midi Olympique.

"In my head, I hoped to play as much as possible at the end of the season to prove I was at this level and I deserved a contract at another club," he added.

The current campaign has been suspended because of the COVID-19 outbreak with nine regular season rounds of the French top-flight remaining.

Clermont had also qualified for the European Champions Cup quarter-finals.

"It's not at all my decision. There are things above us in life, events more important than your plans. I don't feel ready to stop but I have to," Abendanon said.

Abendanon, who won the Top 14 in 2017, two Challenge Cup trophies and was the European Player of the Year in 2015, had talks with the San Diego Legion in the US and had been linked with a return to the English Premiership with London Irish.

"I had contact with some clubs, discussions that were advanced. But everything went cold. Now, I have nothing," he said.