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England 14:30 New Zealand

Sale and former England wing Mark Cueto confirms plan to retire at end of season

By Sam Drury.   Last Updated: 25/06/13 4:01pm

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Mark Cueto: was capped 55 times by England, scoring 20 tries

Mark Cueto: was capped 55 times by England, scoring 20 tries

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Mark Cueto has announced that he will retire from professional rugby at the end of the coming season, his 13th with Sale Sharks.

The Premiership's all-time leading try-scorer has enjoyed a successful career with the North West club, winning the 2006 title, as well as reaching the 2007 World Cup Final with England in which he controversially had a try disallowed.

Having begun his career in 2001 in a game against Bristol, Cueto is aiming for an enjoyable last season and hopes Sale can avoid a similar relegation fight to that which they endured last season.

"I want to score a few more tries. I know Tom Varndell is closing in on my tally," said the 33-year-old.

"I would hate us to be involved in another relegation scrap like last season, we need to get off to a good start this time and hopefully we can finish in the top half of the Premiership and qualify for the Heineken Cup again."

"Playing for the Lions in New Zealand was a great achievement. I only got a late call so to make the starting 15 in a test was special"
Mark Cueto

Special

When it comes to the high points of his career, there is no doubt in the winger's mind which moments stand out.

"Winning the Premiership in 2006 was undoubtedly the best moment for me at club level. Playing in a World Cup Final ranks high too (and yes it was a try!)," he added.

"Playing for the Lions in New Zealand was a great achievement too. I only got a late call after Iain Balshaw pulled out so to make the starting 15 in a test was special."

After over a decade in the Sale side, replacing the former England wing will be far from an easy task but the man himself knows who he thinks should take his place.

"Tom Brady without doubt," Cueto said. "He is a great athlete, works hard, but needs to keep learning about the game. He is incredibly quick and scores crucial tries like the one against Bath in March. He is a local lad and I can see him being a prolific try scorer for the club."

The Sale veteran says he is keen to take up a role in the media once his playing days are over and took the chance to hone his analytical skills by giving his views on the performance of the Lions in Australia in Saturday's first Test.

"I thought Australia would win the first game but now the Lions have gone 1-0 up I don't think they will lose a test match. The Lions didn't play all that well last weekend but won and that's so important."

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