Saracens wing David Strettle will retire at the end of the season at the age of 35.

The flyer, capped 14 times by England, announced on Tuesday that his 17-year career is almost over.

Strettle spent four years with Harlequins before moving to Sarries, where he played his part in the London club's first Premiership title triumph in the 2010-11 season.

A successful spell in France with Clermont Auvergne followed and Strettle returned to Saracens last year after three seasons with the Top 14 club.

Strettle will end his playing days next month and could sign off with a European Champions Cup and Premiership double. 

"I spoke to my wife and we decided now is the time to say goodbye to rugby. There are some more adventures for me elsewhere," said Strettle.

"I'm lucky enough to be able to look back, be very proud and privileged to have done some of the things I've done.

"There was a time when I was at Clermont I thought I'd retire so everything from that point has been an unbelievable bonus for me and to come back to Saracens has been incredible."

Israel Folau's code of conduct hearing with Rugby Australia (RA) has been set for May 4. 

Wallabies and Waratahs back Folau is contesting the breach notice issued to him last week in the aftermath of an anti-homosexual social media post. 

The hearing to determine whether RA's intent to terminate Folau's contract will be upheld is to be overseen by a tribunal at the Rugby AU offices in Sydney. 

A reserve day of May 5 is expected to be used due to the "complex and unprecedented" nature of the matter. 

Folau was warned over his conduct by RA last year after stating homosexuals would go to "hell" unless they "repent their sins and turn to God". 

The 30-year-old again put forward his interpretation of his devout Christianity this month after the Tasmanian Parliament passed legislation to make gender optional on birth certificates and allow people aged 16 and older to legally change gender without parental consent. 

On Instagram, Folau posted an image stating: "Warning: Drunks, Homosexuals, Adulterers, Liars, Fornicators, Thieves, Atheists, Idolaters – Hell awaits you. Repent. Only Jesus Saves." 

He added: "Those that are living in Sin will end up in Hell unless you repent. Jesus Christ loves you and is giving you time to turn away from your sin and come to him." 

Addressing the Tasmanian legislation specifically, Folau retweeted a news article and said: "The devil has blinded so many people in this world, REPENT and turn away from your evil ways. Turn to Jesus Christ who will set you free." 

Last Monday, Wallabies head coach Michael Cheika all but ruled Folau out of his Rugby World Cup plans. 

Waratahs' fly-half Bernard Foley says he is "conflicted" about the situation. 

"He has hurt the team, which is not why we play sport. We are a team and we encourage diversity and everything," Foley said. 

"I also don't think Izzy is a bad guy. So, there is a lot of conflict there. But I don't agree with what he's done. It's a tough situation."

Munster have condemned the fan who confronted England international Billy Vunipola on the pitch after Saracens' European Champions Cup semi-final victory on Saturday.

Vunipola – who was given a formal warning by the RFU earlier this week having offered a defence of Israel Folau's latest controversial social media post in which he shared an image that said "hell awaits" homosexuals – was approached by a supporter wearing a Munster jersey following Sarries' 32-16 triumph.

The fan was swiftly led away by stewards but Vunipola, who was booed throughout the contest, claimed the incident was "quite scary" in an interview with the BBC.

On Sunday, Munster issued a statement which read: "Munster Rugby do not condone the entry of any spectator to the field of play.

"The province wishes to confirm yesterday's identified spectator is not a member of the MRSC [Munster Rugby Supporters' Club] and does not hold a season ticket with the province. The incident will be investigated further."

Garry Ringrose warned defending champions Leinster that Saracens' recent European Champions Cup pedigree will imbue them with confidence when the two clubs meet in the final.

Leinster remain on course to emulate Sarries' back-to-back titles in 2016 and 2017 after easing to a 30-12 semi-final victory over Toulouse at the Aviva Stadium on Sunday.

James Lowe, Luke McGrath and Scott Fardy crossed for the Pro14 side, with the returning Johnny Sexton converting all three tries and slotting over another two penalties.

Leinster will become the most successful team in Champions Cup history if they win in Newcastle next month, yet Ringrose witnessed Saracens' 32-16 semi-final triumph over Munster on Saturday and feels they will be buoyant about their chances.

"Big games like that, they fall on such fine margins – I think the score probably flatters us a little bit, with how tough that was and how hard we had to work for that," he told BT Sport.

"We'll have to try and do that once more against an incredible Saracens side. Seeing them yesterday, I've no doubt they're backing themselves to get back on top of Europe so that's our next challenge.

"Saracens have done it before, won back-to-back [Champions Cups] so they have that experience, an unbelievably strong squad.

"A couple of [Leinster's] guys have been there and we'll have to tap into their experience."

Sexton's presence in the XV was key for Leinster. The Ireland international had not played since his country's final Six Nations game against Wales on March 16 and, though he was replaced with 14 minutes to go on Sunday, he allayed fears over a recurrence of a thigh problem.

"All precaution – it's just good to get it sorted," he added. "I'm just looking after it and I'll be ready to go in a couple of weeks.

"I've had a few weeks off, my lungs were bursting at times during the week – felt like I was cramming for a big exam, I haven't done too much over the last few weeks with quad and groin issues that I was carrying for a while.

"It was good to get to the bottom of it and make the body feel good. We're proud to get to another final but we know we're going to be up against it against the other best team in the competition."

Leinster kept alive their hopes of retaining the European Champions Cup with a hard-fought but ultimately convincing 30-12 semi-final win over Toulouse at the Aviva Stadium on Sunday.

The defending champions booked a return to this year's showpiece at St James' Park where they will face Saracens, conquerors of this competition in 2016 and 2017.

First-half tries from James Lowe and Luke McGrath had Leinster 17-6 up at the break and Scott Fardy – only promoted to the starting XV at late notice due to Rhys Ruddock's illness – barged over in the second period.

Top 14 leaders Toulouse battled gamely in front of a partisan Dublin crowd but the four-time champions were constantly fighting an uphill battle and they will now turn their attentions to securing a first domestic crown since 2012.

Meanwhile, Leinster, runaway leaders in their Pro14 conference, will be eyeing the double as they seek to extend their perfect record in European Cup finals to 5-0 against Sarries next month.

Toulouse did make the brighter start, which was rewarded by Thomas Ramos' early penalty, although Johnny Sexton swiftly restored parity and the hosts forged ahead soon after.

Cian Healy, Sean Cronin and Sean O'Brien were all involved in working the ball left to Lowe, who broke a couple of tackles en route to the line.

The tide turned further in Leinster's favour as Richie Gray was sin-binned for hands in the ruck and from the resulting penalty, Sexton kicked for the corner and the driving maul allowed McGrath to touch down.

Both sides were down to 14 as Robbie Henshaw was carded for a deliberate knock-on as he defended his line, Ramos slotting the simple kick before Sexton erred from the tee and Lowe saw a second score ruled out for obstruction as the half drew to a close.

Fardy's score came on the back of his fellow forwards' fine work and was sandwiched by two Toulouse penalties – the latter after replacement Maxime Medard saw a chip-and-chase try wiped out for simultaneous grounding with the covering Garry Ringrose.

Sexton extended the lead beyond two converted tries with a simple kick 15 minutes from time and he made way for Ross Byrne, who added further gloss to the scoreline in the closing stages.

Clermont Auvergne held off a Harlequins fightback to triumph 32-27 and set up an all-French final against La Rochelle in the European Challenge Cup.

The Top 14 side led 32-8 after 55 minutes of the game at Stade Marcel-Michelin, Morgan Parra kicking his fourth penalty to put his side in complete control.

The scrum-half had also been on target with both conversion attempts following first-half tries from Fritz Lee and Damian Penaud, the pair touching down in an impressive four-minute spell for Clermont.

Yet Quins, who saw Mike Brown ride a tackle to reach the line just before the interval, rallied impressively to make for a nervy finish.

Chris Robshaw forced his way over and after adding the extras, Marcus Smith used his boot to good effect again with a grubber that bounced kindly for James Lang to finish.

Alex Dombrandt closed the gap further as Quins capitalised on a line-out opportunity to touch down again, yet the Premiership club ran out of time to complete their recovery mission. 

After surviving a late scare, Clermont can now look forward to taking on La Rochelle - who defeated Sale Sharks in the first semi-final - for the trophy at St James' Park on May 10.

La Rochelle booked their place in the European Challenge Cup final for the first time thanks to a tightly contested 24-20 win over Sale Sharks.

In a frantic encounter at Stade Marcel-Deflandre, the home side survived a late scare to progress into a major international final for the first time, Gregory Alldritt's 51st-minute try proving decisive.

Two-time Challenge Cup winners Sale took the lead – referee Nigel Owens awarding the visitors a penalty try after Victor Vito brought the maul down.

La Rochelle soon levelled through a penalty try of their own, however, with TMO deeming that Denny Solomona's high tackle on Vincent Rattez was also worthy of a yellow card.

And the Top 14 side were ahead in the 26th minute when Kini Murimurivalu raced through a gap in Sale's lines, though England winger Chris Ashton – back after the calf injury that cut short his Six Nations – ensured the scores were level at 17-17 at the interval.

But La Rochelle would be in front again when Ihaia West teed up Alldritt to score, and though AJ MacGinty pulled Sale within four points with a composed penalty conversion, the visitors could not force themselves over as, despite Jules Favre's late yellow card reducing their numbers, the hosts held firm to book a final clash with either Clermont or Harlequins.

Billy Vunipola reaffirmed he had no intention of hurting anyone with his support for Israel Folau after playing a starring role in Saracens' European Champions Cup victory over Munster.

The England international was given a formal warning by his club after offering a defence for Folau, who sparked outrage with an Instagram post that said "hell awaits" drunks, homosexuals, adulterers, liars, fornicators, thieves, atheists and idolaters.

Vunipola has been booed by some fans during his appearances for Sarries since the controversy, though the criticism from the crowd did not seem to affect him on Saturday.

The number eight scored a second-half try and went on to be named man of the match at the end of his team's 32-16 triumph at the Ricoh Arena.

"Behind closed doors, I've felt a lot of love, a lot of kindness towards me," Vunipola told BT Sport. 

"I'm very grateful to be part of this team - hopefully we can keep it going, keep up what we are doing an enjoy every minute of it."

Asked specifically about the booing heard during the game, he replied: "From my point of view, I believe in what I believe in. There was no intention to hurt anyone - that was never my intention.

"I'm just grateful to be able to play, to be fit."

Boosted by the return of Brad Barritt and Mako Vunipola from ankle injuries, Sarries booked a fourth Champions Cup final appearance in six seasons.

Owen Farrell kicked 22 points and was on target with the conversion attempts following tries from Michael Rhodes and Billy Vunipola, who praised the spirit within the squad.

"It's more than just a rugby team - I'm thankful that I'm playing for them," he said.

"I think we were somewhere close to our best. There were probably a few boys there who were not as fit as they would like to be, my brother Mako and Brad, but everyone stepped up.

"That's part of the journey - fighting as hard as you can to be involved in these kinds of games."

The Brumbies made it back-to-back wins for the first time this season in Super Rugby with an opportunistic 19-17 triumph over the Stormers on Saturday.

Stormers had the majority of possession in Cape Town but failed to turn their dominance into points, though they did opt to turn down a number of opportunities to kick for the posts.

Brumbies caught their opponents out with two tries inside the opening 12 minutes, Pete Samu forcing his way over in the corner for the first before Rory Arnold collected a loose ball to score after he had charged down Herschel Jantjies' box kick.

A penalty from Stormers fly-half Joshua Stander was sandwiched between the tries, with the home team having a score of their own chalked off for a knock-on.

However, they were awarded a penalty try on the stroke of half-time when Jantjies' progress was halted by a high tackle from Toni Pulu, who received a yellow card following a lengthy TMO review.

Stormers capitalised on the man advantage to take the lead for the first time early after the break, Wilco Louw forcing his way over from close range with Stander adding the conversion.

Yet Brumbies hit back just before the hour mark, full-back Thomas Banks going over. Christian Lealiifano's conversion edged the visitors back in front and they held on to their slender advantage through to the final whistle, giving them their sixth win in their last eight outings on South African soil.

Owen Farrell's trusty boot propelled Saracens to a 32-16 victory over Munster and a place in the European Champions Cup final for the fourth time in six seasons.

England international Owen Farrell missed the quarter-final victory over Glasgow Warriors to attend the birth of his first child and he contributed 22 points on his European return.

Michael Rhodes scored the first try of the game as Sarries added 13 unanswered points at the start of the second half to storm to victory, with defending champions Leinster or Top 14 leaders Toulouse awaiting in the final at St James' Park.

Munster responded through Darren Sweetnam but Billy Vunipola – who had been booed during the match after showing support to Israel Folau in the wake of the Australia international's latest controversial social media posts – ensured the Irish province suffered defeat in a seventh straight Champions Cup semi-final outing.

Farrell took two minutes to get off the mark from the tee but after he skewed an attempted drop goal wide, Tyler Bleyendaal - starting at fly-half due to Joey Carbery's hamstring injury - restored parity.

A pair of Farrell penalties created some separation between the teams until Bleyendaal and Conor Murray restored parity, though Farrell gave Saracens the half-time advantage with the final kick of the first half.

Brad Barritt was replaced by Nick Tompkins for the second period and Sarries were ahead within five minutes of the restart, Rhodes darting through a gap in the Munster defence and Farrell adding the extras.

The Premiership side did brilliantly to hold up Chris Farrell on the line before losing control of the ball at the scrum and Murray got it moving for Sweetnam to touch down in the corner.

Saracens' Farrell missed from the tee for the first time in the 67th minute but they moved out of reach when Vunipola touched down at the end of a sustained spell of pressure.

Vincent Koch was sent to the sin bin in the 77th minute for an illegal clear out but Mark McCall's side never looked like losing their place in the final despite finishing a man light.

The Waratahs produced a stirring second-half comeback to defeat the Rebels 23-20 at the SCG in their first match since Israel Folau was stood down.

Daryl Gibson's side scored 16 unanswered points after the break to claim their first victory in three despite the absence of Folau, who faces a Rugby Australia hearing that could result in him being sacked after his latest controversial social media posts about homosexuality and gender.

The Rebels were dealt a blow with the second-minute loss of wing Jack Maddocks – the joint-leading try scorer in Super Rugby this season – due to a head clash with Cameron Clark and subsequent failed HIA, but Quade Cooper's penalty put them in front.

Jed Holloway did superbly to set up Adam Ashley-Cooper for the opening try, but Bill Meakes and Reece Hodge gave the Rebels a 13-point lead at half-time.

Bernard Foley slotted through a pair of penalties before intercepting a line-out and racing home in the 57th minute, and the fly-half added the extras to tie the game up.

Foley split the posts from the tee once more in the 65th minute and, after Hodge struck the upright with a penalty, Sam Talakai's yellow card left the Rebels a man light as they failed to salvage a result.

The Highlanders ended their five-game losing run by defeating the Blues 24-12 in Dunedin.

Josh Ioane's conversion was the difference at the break after Tom Robinson and Shannon Frizell exchanged scores – the latter crossing for the sixth time this season.

The Blues conceded a penalty try after being overpowered at the scrum and Matt Faddes raced away off an interception four minutes later, with Melani Nanai's effort at the last for the visitors proving nothing but a consolation.

Franck Azema has signed a new contract to remain as Clermont Auvergne's sporting director until June 2023.

Azema's deal was due to expire at the end of next season but he and his assistants Bernard Goutta, Didier Bes and Xavier Sadourny - as well as other staff members - have been handed fresh terms.

Should he see out his new contract, the 48-year-old will become the longest-serving coach in Clermont's professional history.

Azema said in a statement: "It's a great pleasure and a great honour to be able to continue to lead this team for the next four seasons. It's also a nice sign of trust from my president and the club.

"I am very happy to see all my assistants join me in this. This will allow me to continue to work in confidence and to delegate to the 17 people who constitute our staff and are all essential.

"I wanted to continue serving the club where I played and that became my home."

Azema led Clermont to the Top 14 title in 2016-17 but missed out on a double after going down to Saracens in the European Champions Cup final, which they also lost to Toulon two seasons prior.

President Eric de Cromieres said: "Franck is not the same as he was when he arrived in 2010, or even in 2014 when he took over the team, and I am sure he will be different again in 2023.

"This staff as a whole is a group that will allow us to continue to progress and to be ambitious in the years to come."

Clermont sit second in the Top 14 table, eight points adrift of leaders Toulouse, and face Harlequins in the European Challenge Cup semi-finals on Saturday.

British and Irish Lions duo Johnny Sexton and Maku Vunipola will both return from injury to play in this weekend's European Champions Cup semi-finals.

Ireland fly-half Sexton has overcome a quad issue to captain Leinster in Sunday's clash with Toulouse at the Aviva Stadium.

The 33-year-old has not featured for the province since the end of the Six Nations but is included by head coach Leo Cullen in a much-changed starting XV.

It is the third time Leinster have faced Toulouse in the past editions four of the competition. The French club triumphed in 2010 but lost in a rematch 12 months later, with the winner on each occasion going on to lift the trophy.

Before they meet, however, Saracens take on Munster at the Ricoh Arena on Saturday in the first semi-final.

Vunipola has been named in Sarries' team for the fixture, the England prop available again having been out since January with an ankle injury.

He joins brother Billy Vunipola in the pack for the Premiership club, while Brad Barritt and Liam Williams are fit to start at centre and wing respectively.

As for Munster, who reached the final in 2008 with an 18-16 victory over Saracens at the same venue in Coventry, they are without Joey Carbery and Keith Earls.

The Hurricanes came close to paying the price for resting numerous stars as they needed to produce a 16-point comeback to beat the lowly Sunwolves 29-23 in Super Rugby.

All Blacks Beauden Barrett, Jordie Barrett and Ardie Savea were all rested by the visitors for the trip to Japan, and the decision to rotate appeared set to backfire as the Sunwolves stormed into a 23-7 lead thanks a double from Semisi Masirewa and the boot of Hayden Parker.

It was 23-10 to the hosts at half-time and, despite Ben Lam and Chase Tiatia going over after the restart, the side with the worst record in Super Rugby still led going into the final quarter of an hour.

But the Hurricanes' pressure told with 12 minutes to go as Wes Goosen touched down with the decisive try following a kick and chase.

The Hurricanes remain second in the New Zealand Conference, in which the Chiefs are second bottom having missed out on the chance to leapfrog the Blues as a comeback against the Lions fell short.

Two penalties from the boot of Elton Jantjies made it 6-0 after 30 minutes. Carlu Sadie barged over and Aphiwe Dyantyi then brilliantly picked up a grubber kick to dot down and make it 20-0 at the break.

Chiefs lost full-back Jack Debreczeni as he was taken off on a stretcher in a neck brace but they found momentum upon the resumption.

Sean Wainui and Nepo Laulala crossed within three minutes of each other and the Lions' lead was just three points when Tumua Manu went over four minutes from time and Marty McKenzie converted.

However, the Chiefs turned the ball over in their own territory in the closing moments and Jantjies made the game safe with a drop goal that secured a 23-17 win.

Last season's beaten finalists are second in South Africa Conference, the Sharks surrendering their grip on that spot in a 21-7 loss to the Reds that marked a third defeat in four matches for Robert du Preez's men.

Worcester Warriors have confirmed Ben Te'o will leave the club at the end of the season.

England international Te'o, who arrived three years ago from Leinster, is the high-profile name among a group of eight players who will depart Sixways.

The centre, 32, has won 20 international caps and also appeared in two Tests for the British and Irish Lions during their series against New Zealand in 2017.

Te'o has been linked with a move to France, though playing for a team in the Top 14 would rule him out of contention for England.

Samoa flanker Alafoti Faosiliva is also moving on from the Warriors, while former South Africa international Dewald Potgieter has announced he will retire from professional rugby at the conclusion of the Premiership campaign.

"We would like to thank all who are leaving for their contribution to the club and wish them the very best for the future," said Alan Solomons, Worcester's director of rugby.

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