Quins co-captain James Horwill has announced he will retire from rugby union at the end of the current season.

The former Queensland Reds captain, who also skippered his native Australian side on 16 occasions during a 62-cap career, will bring the curtain down on an illustrious career on May 3 at the age of 34.

Joining Quins at the start of the 2015/16 season, the lock-forward has appeared 66 times for the quartered-shirt in a 14-year career that has seen him play over 250 professional games.

“I have given this great game everything I have, and I feel I can no longer give what is needed to play at this elite level,” said Horwill upon announcing his decision.

“Rugby has been a big part of my life for many years; never in my wildest dreams would I have envisaged the incredible journey it has taken me on.

Richmond and Twickenham Times:

“I’ve had the privilege and honour to not only play, but captain my State, Country and Club, Harlequins, on a number of occasions over my 14-year career.”

Horwill had another year to run on his contract in West London but has decided to hang up his studs sooner, many feel forced through injury.

“I want to thank all the coaches and staff I’ve worked with over my career; you have all made an impact and shaped me into the player and person I am today.

“Special thanks must go to the physios, doctors and surgeons, who have put me back together. We probably spent more time together than we would have liked, but without your expertise and continued care, I wouldn’t have been able to play for as long.

His final game will be against Leicester Tigers on May 3 at The Stoop.