"I’m excited for what the next chapter" - England flanker confirms retirement with surprise new career - Ruck

“I’m excited for what the next chapter” – England flanker confirms retirement with surprise new career

Northampton Saints legend Tom Wood will hang up his boots at the end of the 2021/22 season after an incredible 12 seasons at cinch Stadium at Franklin’s Gardens.

The 35-year-old flanker made 240 appearances in Black, Green and Gold, scoring 22 tries along the way, but will retire from professional rugby next month to become a full-time carpenter.

Since making his Club debut back in 2010, Coventry-born Wood has written himself into Northampton folklore and joined Saints’ revered ‘200 club’ back in 2019.

In a career laden with silverware, the athletic and abrasive back row forward claimed Gallagher Premiership (2014), European Challenge Cup (2014), Premiership Rugby Cup (2019), and Premiership Player of the Season (2011) titles during his tenure at the Club, as well as helping Saints reach the Heineken Cup final in 2011.

Wood has been out of action since February after sustaining a shoulder injury against Leicester Tigers, but reflects on a long and successful career in Black, Green and Gold with great fondness.

“Northampton Saints has been such a big part of my life and I’ve made some very special memories. I feel privileged to have been able to pull on the jersey here for the past 12 seasons alongside some incredible players,” he said.

“Obviously, retiring is a difficult and emotional decision for any player. I’ve not been able to make as much of a contribution on the pitch as I’d have liked this season due to injury, but that’s the nature of professional sport.

“I’m very proud of my playing career with both Saints and England, and I want to thank all of Saints’ supporters who have embraced me during my time here.

“Having worked hard in recent years to set myself up for life after rugby, I’m excited for what the next chapter has in store.”

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The England and Exeter Chiefs winger is the co-owner of The Swordfish Inn back in his hometown of Cornwall. Sitting on the harbourfront, the pub has been a favourite of local fishermen, artists and visitors alike for as long as anyone cares to remember and is well-known for its rugged charm and atmosphere. He is also a director of MUSTARD Clothing.


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