Another Newcastle Falcons legend has confirmed his retirement - Ruck

Another Newcastle Falcons legend has confirmed his retirement

After 16 years as a full-time professional with Newcastle Falcons, one-club man Alex Tait will call time on his rugby career at the end of the season.

The 35-year-old has played 265 times for the Falcons, placing him fourth on the club’s all-time appearance list behind fellow club legends Micky Ward, Will Welch and Tom May. 

Scoring 40 tries during that time, including a hat-trick on his debut in January 2008, the back-three star will pursue a career away from the game and insists he has no regrets about his decision.

“I haven’t sought another contract anywhere, and everything’s just telling me it’s the right time,” said the former Barnard Castle School pupil, who played his junior club rugby with Consett RFC.

“I’ve been doing this for 16 or 17 years, which I’ve absolutely loved, and it just got to the point where I wasn’t even hunting out a contract for next season. That kind of told me that I’d made up my mind, and I’m just ready for a change.

“Being a professional rugby player for 17 years isn’t great for your body, but I’ve been lucky enough not to have the decision forced upon me by injury or anything like that.

“You’ve got to make the leap sometime, and I just felt this was the best moment to set something up for me and my family over the longer term. I’ll give it a good go, but of course I’ll look back really fondly on my time with Newcastle Falcons.”

Newcastle’s chairman of rugby Matt Thompson, a former team-mate of Tait’s, said: “Alex has made a massive contribution for this club throughout his time here, and we’ve got nothing but positive feelings towards him.

“I remember him scoring a hat-trick on his debut as a teenager when we played over in Valladolid in the Challenge Cup, and he’s been an incredibly consistent performer for more than a decade and a half.

“His work ethic and professionalism are a massive credit to him, and when you think about Newcastle Falcons greats from the professional era you’d have to put him right up there.

“On behalf of the entire club I just want to thank him for the huge effort he has put in and all the memories he has created, as well as wishing him all the best for his new career.”

Elaborating on his intended change of direction, Tait explained: “I’ve managed to sort out a potential job at a wealth management firm in Newcastle, and I’m looking forward to getting stuck into that. I’ve just got some exams to pass which I’m on with at the moment, and I’m looking forward to taking that next step.

“In terms of my time at the Falcons, I’ve played with and against loads of great players, and made friends for life. I won’t start naming them because I’m bound to forget loads, but I’ve enjoyed testing myself at that level.

“Not everyone gets to say that, and then the fact I’ve been able to do it for so many years – I feel really blessed to have been in that position.”