James Hook: Ospreys utility back to retire at end of the season
"It's a sad time, but something I'm really looking forward to. It comes to everyone at some point and now it's time for me"
Last Updated: 13/01/20 8:02am
Ospreys utility back James Hook will call time on a 16-year career at the end of the 2019/20 season.
The 34-year-old, who played the majority of his career at fly-half, has made 148 appearances for Ospreys in two spells and is second on the club's list of all-time point scorers with 841.
Hook also played for Perpignan and Gloucester and has 81 Test caps for Wales, including being part of their Six Nations winning sides in 2008 and 2012.
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Hey Guys, Just want to let you know that I’ll be retiring from the game of rugby that I love so much, at the end of this season. I've been privileged to do what I love for so long. Never in my wildest dreams, starting out as a 5 year old playing for Aberavon Quins, did I think I’d experience what I have in the game. Rugby has given me so many incredible experiences which has allowed me to travel and live in some of the best places. Every team I have played for since the start has shaped my journey and given me incredible memories that I will always treasure. I have so many people to thank. Firstly, my teams. Thank you @aberavonquins125, @aberavonrfc, @tatasteelrfc, @neathrugbyofficial, @ospreys_official, @usapofficiel, @officialgloucesterrugby, @barbarians_fc, @welshrugbyunion and the @britishandirishlions Massive thanks to all the fans who supported me throughout the highs and lows of my career. I’m truly grateful and have appreciated your support so much. Thank you to the people who have made my dreams possible - my teammates, coaches, backroom staff, parents, Grandparents, brother, sister, my in laws, along with my friends, sponsors and my agent Derwyn. Lastly, but by no means least, thank you to my amazing wife Kim, and our three sons - you’ve been my rock and constant, lived it with me and backed me every step of the way. It’s been an unbelievable ride and I’ll attack my next adventures in the same way that I always approached the game, and that is - play what’s in front, take a few risks, and do it all with as much positivity as I can possibly bring. Thank you 🙏 x
In a statement Ospreys' official website, Hook said: "My contract is up at the end of the season with the Ospreys, so I've decided to call time at the end of the year. It's a sad time, but something I'm really looking forward to. It comes to everyone at some point and now it's time for me.
"I've had lots of highlights throughout my career. Both internationally with Wales, winning Grand Slam titles and Six Nations Championships, and going on the British and Irish Lions tour.
"Then signing my first professional contract was a big moment for me. Growing up I always aspired to be a professional rugby player. You never think it'll actually happen so when it did it really was amazing."
Hook added he plans to finish his current coaching qualifications and will also be writing a series of children's books to be released later this year.
He said: "I want to stay involved in the game, particularly working on the skills, like I do now with the young kickers and the age-grade sides, and I'm hoping to finish my level 3 coaching qualification.
"It'll be nice to spend time with my family, my 3 young boys and my wife. It's going to be sad not playing at the end of the season, but you've got to be positive and look on the bright side and I'm looking forward to what's next."