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Samuel Whitelock announces retirement from professional rugby

BY Jack Tunney  ·  Tuesday Apr 2, 2024

Samuel Whitelock has announced his retirement from professional rugby after 17 years at the highest level. The 35-year-old will end his career at the end of the season playing for Pau in the south of France.

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“I’ve been having a few conversations with my wife Hannah and the kids around what the future looks like for us. And it’s time to finish the playing chapter of rugby,” Whitelock said.

“I think if you talk to anyone who has played for a long time, that desire [to compete] never leaves, it’s just that stage of life when you move on.

“It’s not a decision that we have come to lightly, but it’s the right thing for myself and it’s the right thing for my wife and our three kids – Fred, Iris and Penelope.

“And I think that is what excites me the most – spending more time with my kids and my wife, and actually watching them play sport. Being able to go to the cross-country at school and those things.

“It’s hard to thank everyone, but obviously Hannah has been a massive part along with my parents, brothers, cousins, uncles, aunties and grandparents. And also the fans in general, they’ve been so receptive of myself and also the way I play.

“I’m very appreciative of the support I’ve had and there is no way I could have achieved the things I’ve had without them.”

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“The thing I’m proud of is that I never really counted Test matches – I always wanted to make the Test matches count,” said Whitelock. “So if it was my last one, I wanted to be able to walk away and say ‘I gave it everything, I didn’t hold anything back.’ I was fully committed.”

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