England legend Jason Leonard has revealed it was his desire to go out on a high that led to the timing of his decision to retire.
The world's most capped player, who quit international rugby during this season's RBS 6 Nations, has announced he would bring down the curtain on his domestic career at the end of the season.
The 35-year-old prop will end his Harlequins career after the Parker Pen Cup final on May 22, then play for the Barbarians against England at Twickenham before leading a Jason Leonard XV in Neil Jenkins' testimonial game in Cardiff on June 6.
Harlequins boss Mark Evans had offered Leonard a one-year extension to his contract at The Stoop.
But despite believing he was in good enough shape to play on, Leonard opted to hang up his boots rather than battle through another Premiership campaign after a 16-year senior career with Barking, Saracens and Harlequins.
"It won't be tough to call it a day, I've had more than 10 years at the top level and I've been lucky to be involved for that length of time," said Leonard.
"The decision to retire has come at the right time. I think I could go on for a year or maybe two, but I think that's why now is the right time to go. You don't want to drag yourself out year after year."
Leonard won 114 caps in his 14-year international career and finally took revenge for England's 1991 World Cup final defeat as part of the side that beat Australia 20-17 last November.
He is now being linked with a move into Sir Clive Woodward's coaching set-up after holding initial talks with the England head coach.
"I played in the 1991 final which we lost 12-6 so to get a chance to reverse that was great. But every single time you pull on the jersey you're proud," said Leonard, during a personal appearance at Niketown in London's West End.
"Clive Woodward has talked to me about coaching and I will consider all the options."
England will miss Leonard's ability to anchor either side of the scrum this summer as injuries threaten to leave Woodward's team short of experienced front-row forwards for next month's Tests against New Zealand and Australia.
Gloucester tight-head Phil Vickery, who Leonard replaced in the World Cup final, will miss the tour to have surgery on a bulging disc and Sale's Andrew Sheridan has been ruled out with a broken jaw.
That leaves Vickery's team-mate Trevor Woodman and Leicester's injury-plagued Julian White as the only two certainties, with Bath youngster Matthew Stevens now odds-on to make the trip.
England's preparations for the Autumn International series were potentially dealt a further blow as Maro Itoje was forced to undergo an x-ray after Saracens' European victory over Scarlets on Saturday night.