Dan Hipkiss wanted one final game for Diss

Dan Hipkiss

Dan Hipkiss - Credit: PA

He has played for two of the Premiership’s top teams and amassed 13 England caps, but retiring rugby star Dan Hipkiss still holds a regret closer to home.

The 30-year-old called time on his playing career last week, due to a shoulder injury, following a successful career with Leicester Tigers, Bath and England.

However, the Ipswich-born centre started on the road to stardom at top amateur side, Diss, and has revealed his disappointment at not being able to turn out for the London 1 North team one last time.

“Les Moir and my dad were my coaches at Diss and I played there for 10 years from the age of six,” said Hipkiss, who started his fledgling career aged six.

“Our team won the County Cup final and the Eastern Counties Cup Final too at under-15 level which was great.

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“It’s just a real shame I can’t play again as I would have liked to have played a match for Diss first team to finish.

“It’s not how anyone wants to leave the game, but when a doctor tells you it’s time you have to listen.”

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Hipkiss, who has revealed a desire to remain in the game in some form, is now taking time to reflect on his career.

“I am happy with what I have achieved,” he said.

“I have travelled the world and have experiences few others are lucky enough to have.

“I never expected to become a professional, I had a lot of luck and good fortune that allowed me into the sport.

“When I made my debut for England, I was happy with the achievement, but it is only now, when you have time to reflect on your career, that you get a lot of pride from playing for your country.

“I think the most important thing is the people you get to meet and play with along the way. They are the memories I will take with me more, rather than achievements.”

He added: “Looking ahead, I have a degree in Sports Science so I would like to stay in the game in a strength and conditioning capacity, although it is a very competitive area and most of the applicants have masters or PHDs.

“But it may be good to try something different.

“I am interested in property and building and a firm called Stonewood, based in Castle Combe, have been kind enough to give me some work experience over the last year or so.”

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