Harlequins head of rugby Paul Gustard says Rob Buchanan is unlucky not to have won any England caps in his career as he heaped praise on the retiring hooker.

After a decade and more than 120 appearances for Quins, the academy graduate is to hang up his boots in order to begin his next chapter with T&G Wholesale Meats as Operations Manager.

During a ten-year spell, the 29-year-old hooker helped drive Harlequins to multiple trophies, most notably the 2012/13 LV Cup and 2011/12 Aviva Premiership titles.

“Seeing Rob leave us sparks mixed emotions,” said Gustard. “I am sad because he was a great player who was unlucky not to get a full senior cap for England, and I felt he was an important member of our squad who could help us realise our goals. But in the same breath I am delighted that he has a new career that he is energised by and is excited to start.

“Rob played with courage, physicality and had a real purpose in his actions. He has had a very rough few years with the constant and monotonous nature of injury rehabilitation, and for him to come back and play an important role for the team last season showed not only his personal dedication and resilience, but the reason I, and the whole coaching staff, hold him in such high regard.

“He will be missed by the team because of his quality as a player, but more importantly he will be missed by the group because of his presence and the most incredible booming and infectious laugh you will ever hear.

“He has had a tremendous career and can look back with pride on his achievements and reflect on some amazing memories. We wish him and his partner Harriet the very best in the next chapter of their journey, the door at Harlequins will always be open to Rob.”

As a promising young hooker, Buchanan represented England throughout the age grades and was among the standout players in the 2011 IRB Junior World Championship final against the junior All Blacks.

The Quins centurion toured with England's senior team to Argentina in the summer of 2013 after helping the club lift the LV Cup that season.

He was also named in England’s 2014 squad to play the Barbarians and in the wider training squad for the 2017 tour to Argentina before being ruled out through injury.

On announcing news of his retirement, Buchanan said: “I’d like to thank my family, friends, team mates, all the staff, and of course the fans who have been by my side throughout my time at the club , I wouldn’t have had such a special and amazing journey without all of you.

“I’m excited to get stuck into my next chapter with T&G. My time as a player at the Club may have come to an end, but I will still be at games to cheer on the lads.”