Pelous to call it a day
Toulouse lock Fabien Pelous, France's most capped player, has announced that he will retire at the end of the season.
Last Updated: 23/04/09 12:35pm
Fabien Pelous, France's most capped player, has announced that he will hang up his boots at the end of the season.
The lock played 118 times for Les Bleus, 42 of those as captain. He ended his international career after the 2007 World Cup.
Pelous started out in professional club rugby at Dax before joining Toulouse in 1997, helping them win the Heineken Cup in 2003 and 2005.
The 35-year-old had already made his first move into coaching having joined France's 'A' set-up back in January.
"After careful thought, I felt it was time for me to go," he said at a news conference.
"I know hard times are coming and that the desire of playing will not disappear right away. But it is wise to know when it is time to go. It is the right time."
As well as a future in coaching, Pelous plans to open a cafe in the town of Saverdun, where he played as an amateur.
Before then the second-rower will be looking to finish with a flourish at Toulouse, who are currently second in the French league, level on points with Top 14 leaders Perpignan.
"This is the Mr Rugby of the past 15 years who is leaving the pitch. I take the years I spent alongside Fabien as a chance, a rare privilege," said Toulouse coach Guy Noves.
"He never cheated. We will do everything we can so that he can leave with his head up high," he added.
Pelous won the Five/Six Nations title four times with France but never got to lift the World Cup, going closest in 1999 when he was part of the side that lost in the final to Australia.