Foden, who was an important player in England’s Six Nations victory in 2011, had been playing for Rugby New York since 2019.

He began his career at Sale Sharks and spent ten years in Northampton, where he helped the Saints win their lone Premiership title in 2014.

“It’s been an 18-year career full of every feeling imaginable,” he remarked.

Foden got his first of 34 England caps against Italy in 2009, scoring seven tries in four years.

He was a standout for the Sharks throughout the 2007/08 season before joining Northampton at the end of the season with the goal of playing half-back.

Lee Dickson eventually won that struggle, forcing Foden to accept his future as a full-back, but it would pay off when he received an international call-up in 2009.

Foden earned his England debut against Italy in 2007, but it wasn’t until a year later that he firmly established himself in the squad and was named the first choice for the 2011 World Cup.

He gained the last of his 34 caps in 2013 but remained with the Saints until his departure in 2018.

A stint with American side Rugby United New York followed but, at the age of 36, the full-back has decided to call it a day.


“So after lots of deliberation I’ve decided to finally hang up my playing boots from professional rugby,” Foden posted on Instagram.

“From a young ‘Pop Idol’ starting at @salesharks to 10 years at @northamptonsaints to finally finishing my career with @rugbyunitedny it’s been an 18-year career filled with every emotion possible.

“Rugby has given me so much through my lifetime and given me enough memories to keep me smiling for the rest of my days.

“It’s taken me all over the world and I feel privileged to say it has given me friendships and a family I can always depend on.

“To everyone who has been part of this journey with me, thank you for everything! Rugby really is a wonderful game and has certainly enriched my life.

“I promise to always, (wherever possible) give back to the game I loved playing so much. Excited for the next chapter in my life and what’s around the corner. Finally thank you Dad for making this incredible journey possible. Foden 15 out.”

The star was soon inundated with messages of support from his celebrity friends.

Lorriane presenter Ria Hebden wrote: “So proud of you Ben, what an inspiration.”

While Strictly Come Dancing star Brendan Cole penned: “Mate. Congrats on a sensational career and being a lege! Love ya buddy.”

Rugby player Mike Brown added: “Congrats on a great career Fodes! All the best mate x.”