Legendary flyhalf James Hook has announced he will retire at the end of the current European season.
Hook’s pending retirement will draw the curtain on an illustrious career that included 81 Test caps for Wales and 148 appearances for the Ospreys.
‘My contract is up at the end of the season with the Ospreys, so I’ve decided to call time at the end of the year. It’s a sad time, but something I’m really looking forward to. It comes to everyone at some point and now it’s time for me,’ Hook told the Ospreys’ official website.
‘I’ve had lots of highlights throughout my career. Both internationally with Wales, winning Grand Slam titles and Six Nations Championships, and going on the British & Irish Lions tour.
‘There’s a couple of standout games for me. Playing against Australia in 2006, I came off the bench after an injury to Stephen Jones after 20 minutes,’ he added.
‘Then there’s playing against England in the Six Nations the following year in the last game of the tournament; we avoided the wooden spoon and I won man of the match.
‘The following year against England where we won the Grand Slam and beat them for the first time in twenty years in Twickenham. I don’t know why, but I just love playing against England. Every time I did it always seemed to go well for me.’
Looking towards the next chapter in his life, Hook said: ‘I want to stay involved in the game, particularly working on the skills, like I do now with the young kickers and the age-grade sides, and I’m hoping to finish my level-3 coaching qualification.
‘It’ll be nice to spend time with my family, my three young boys and my wife. It’s going to be sad not playing at the end of the season, but you’ve got to be positive and look on the bright side and I’m looking forward to what’s next.
‘I just want to say a massive thank you to everyone who has supported me over the years,’ he added.
‘As players we appreciate supporters so much, especially the ones who are there for the highs and the lows and those who travel all over the world to support us. They really do make a huge difference and it means the world. Thank you.’
James Hook. One of the most talented rugby players that Wales has produced being able to play right across the backline. A fine career. All the best for the future @hookjameshook pic.twitter.com/1KqVtrZurr
— Jamie Phillips (@JNPhillips4) January 13, 2020
Photo: Richard Huggard/Gallo Images