England international Mark Wilson forced to retire with immediate effect, aged 32 - Ruck

England international Mark Wilson forced to retire with immediate effect, aged 32

Newcastle Falcons have confirmed today that captain Mark Wilson has retired from rugby with immediate effect.

The 32-year-old came through the club’s academy and scored 42 tries in his 237 games, saying: “I’ve taken the decision to retire from rugby. It’s a decision that’s been hard to make, but it’s the right one for me and my family right now.

“I’ve been involved with the Falcons since I was a 14-year-old coming over from Kendal for academy training, and I’ve got some amazing memories. You never really know how you’re going to end your career, but for me, this is my time to call it a day.”

Cumbrian back-rower Wilson continued the Falcons’ proud tradition of growing their own, rising through the ranks to become a double centurion as well as representing his country at the elite level of the game.

Having made one appearance from the bench this season following an operation on his knee, he said: “My injury has made me re-assess where I’m at from a career point of view.

“That has been in the background and been in my thoughts quite a lot, and whilst it hasn’t been the case that the injury has physically ended my career in its own right, it’s certainly been one of the main things which has added to my decision.”

As well as becoming a Newcastle Falcons great, the Cumbrian also won 23 caps for England between 2017 and 2021, playing in the 2019 Rugby World Cup final and winning the 2020 Six Nations Championship.

Newcastle Falcons director of rugby Dean Richards said: “We’re all gutted and disappointed that Mark is retiring from rugby, but he has made a massive contribution to this club.

“He epitomises what we are about as someone who has come through our academy system, and can look back and be proud about what was a fantastic career. I’m sure I speak for everybody associated with the Falcons when I say a heartfelt thank you for everything he has given us during his time here.

“Mark is a team man who has put his body on the line time and time again, he embodies our homegrown philosophy and we all felt an enormous sense of pride when he went on to do so well on the international stage. He has inspired so many local youngsters by coming through our academy and reaching such heights, and I’m sure he won’t be a stranger around the place.”

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