The Leicester Tigers, England and British & Irish Lions forward has been forced to retire on medical grounds.
The 31-year-old said: “I’ve played professional rugby at Leicester for 12 years and in that time I’ve enjoyed every second of it. I’ve played alongside and against some incredible players and made many lifelong friends in the game.
“Unfortunately I have also suffered some reasonably significant injuries and now, after seeking advice on a neck injury, I have to announce my retirement as a player.
— Leicester Tigers (@LeicesterTigers) November 16, 2017
“Leaving the game has been a massive decision for me, it is all I’ve known since leaving school, but with the issues I’ve had fitness-wise over the last few years and with my wife and two young kids at home, it’s the right time to hang the boots up and move on to the next chapter .”
After another neck injury this season and, after consulting a specialist, has been advised to retire from the professional game.
“There are so many big games to look back on,” said Croft. “But making my debut for Tigers against Gloucester in 2005, gaining my first England cap and wearing the Lions shirt on two tours are up there with my best memories of the game.
“I’ve had great support from so many people and there are so many mates I’ve grown up with in the game, guys like Matt Smith who I first met at school, Dan Cole, Tom and Ben Youngs, guys who I came through the Tigers academy with at a similar time and are still the core of the club today.”