Hernandez hangs it up

by AFP

Juan Martin Hernandez, widely regarded as Argentina's greatest ever player, announced his retirement from professional rugby in a French press interview published on Tuesday.

The 35-year-old, known as "El Mago" - the Magician - in his homeland, suffered a knee injury last month that convinced him the time had come to hang up his boots.

"The cruciate ligaments aren't affected but it's very painful and the demands of Super Rugby don't allow me to play in this competition diminished," the Jaguares player told Midi Olympique.

"So I've decided to stop playing rugby. There you go, it's finished.

"I didn't want to have any regrets, I think I wanted the end to come on a rugby field," added Hernandez, in his prime considered one of the best fly-halves in the world.Hernandez is regarded as Argentina's best ever player. Photo: Getty ImagesHe also excelled at centre and full-back, although he always preferred wearing the No.10 jersey.

Hernandez played 74 times in Argentina's light blue and white jersey and helped the South Americans reach the World Cup semi-finals in 2007 and 2015.

He played much of his club career in France, winning the Top 14 title twice with Parisians Stade Francais.

He spent one season in South Africa with Sharks before also playing for Racing 92 and Toulon, joining Buenos Aires-based Jaguares in 2016.

Asked about a future in coaching, Hernandez said: "We'll see!

"First of all I'll take six months off for me and my children.

"I'm going to be a normal father, taking the little ones to school in the morning and collecting them in the evening."