Glasgow Warriors captain Alastair Kellock to retire at the end of season
Last Updated: 02/04/15 12:07pm
Glasgow Warriors captain Alastair Kellock has announced that he will retire from rugby at the end of the season.
Kellock, who has played 154 games for the club, captained the team for the 150th time in the 34-34 draw with Leinster in Dublin recently.
At the end of the season he will take up an ambassadorial role with Scottish Rugby, as well as helping to continue the development of the Warriors.
The 33-year-old has led the club to the PRO12 Play-Offs four times since they were introduced in the 2009/10 campaign and skippered the team to the PRO12 Final for the first time last year.
I feel the time is right for me to retire and it's an emotional and reflective time for me.
Kellock said: "I feel the time is right for me to retire and it's an emotional and reflective time for me.
"I've always had a rule of playing every game like it's my last as you never know when that will be, but now I can see it coming pretty quickly, after 17 years playing senior rugby.
"I'm excited about the next chapter but there are so many things that I'll miss massively, especially the times in the changing room before and after a game.”
Kellock was awarded a professional contract with Edinburgh Rugby in 2002, playing 56 times for the side before his move to Glasgow in 2006.
He won his first Scotland cap against Australia at Murrayfield in 2004 before going on to represent his his country on 56 occasions. Last year he captained the Barbarians in matches against Australia at Twickenham and Leicester Tigers at Welford Road.
Kellock praised the Glasgow supporters and said he is looking forward to taking up his new role with the club, where his main focus will be engaging with the rugby and business communities and learning more about the commercial aspect of sport, enabling him to stay connected with the Warriors.
He added: "The supporters have been great with me and I hugely appreciate the backing they've given me throughout my career.
"When I first joined the club we were bringing in 1500 people at Hughenden, but now we're regularly exceeding 6,000 at Scotstoun, which makes me incredibly proud and happy to be part of the journey.
"To have captained the side for nine years is such an honour and I have so many fantastic memories, such as beating Toulouse away from home in Europe and winning against Munster in the PRO12 semi-final last season when my daughter was mascot."
He is very passionate about rugby in Glasgow and it's great that he's moving into an important role with Scottish Rugby and Glasgow Warriors when he retires.
Glasgow head coach Gregor Townsend said: "Al has been instrumental in Glasgow's rise over the last five or six years and he's been an excellent role model for our values, with the work he does to improve himself, his teammates and the club.
"He is very passionate about rugby in Glasgow and it's great that he's moving into an important role with Scottish Rugby and Glasgow Warriors when he retires.
"Al has put his body on the line a lot during his nine years with the club and he's still competing very hard with the other second-rows to be selected ahead of them. He shows excellent leadership whether he plays or not and his first thought is how he can help the team win.
"In my three years at the club he has been an excellent person to work with - the ideal captain. He has left a fantastic legacy for the future of the club to continue to grow.
"I know how much it would mean for his last season to be even better than last year and he's training really hard to be at his best for our remaining games.”