England and British and Irish Luones prop Alex Corbisiero will take a year-long sabbatical from the game at the end of the season, he revealed in a newspaper interview published on Sunday.
The 27-year-old has battled a succession of injury problems since a strong showing for the British and Irish Lions in 2013 and underwent a knee operation last week.
But Corbisiero said it was mental, rather than physical, factors that had prompted him to take a year out.
“The decision was made before I knew that I would need that knee surgery,” he told the Sunday Times.
“My contract with Northampton Saints was up at the end of the year and I just decided not to renegotiate with Saints or speak with any other club. I am not stopping because I don’t have options.
“It is a decision that I feel is necessary if, in the longer term, I’m going to be the player I want to be. It is way more mental than physical.
“It’s no secret I’ve had a number of injuries and there’s been some frustrating times. But mentally I am drained and I’m really looking forward to some time away from the game.
“Recharge my batteries, come back re-motivated, ready to crack on again.”