Northampton legend Tom Wood will retire from rugby at the end of the season

Former England flanker and Northampton legend Tom Wood will retire from rugby at the end of the season after an illustrious career that saw him win 50 international caps and lift the Premiership title with the Saints

  • The flanker will call time on glittering career after 12 years with the Saints
  • Tom Wood hasn’t played since February due to a shoulder injury 
  • He has spent 12 seasons with the Saints, making 240 appearances for the club
  • Wood won 50 caps for England, captaining his country on three occasions 

Northampton stalwart and former England flanker Tom Wood will call time on his career at the end of the season.

The 35-year-old hasn’t played since February due to a shoulder injury and has now confirmed the current campaign will be his last.

Wood has spent 12 seasons with Northampton making 240 appearances and scoring 22 tries. He will be remembered as a true Saints legend when he calls it quits next month.

Tom Wood will retire at the end of the season to bring the curtain down on a glittering career

Tom Wood will retire at the end of the season to bring the curtain down on a glittering career

‘Northampton Saints has been such a big part of my life and I’ve made some very special memories,’ said Wood.

‘I feel privileged to have been able to pull on the jersey here for the past 12 seasons alongside some incredible players. 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.

The flanker has made 240 appearances for Northampton in addition to 50 for England

The flanker has made 240 appearances for Northampton in addition to 50 for England

‘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.’ Wood won 50 caps for England and appeared at two Rugby World Cups. He captained his country on three occasions and helped them to Six Nations triumphs in 2011 and 2017.

Wood’s Northampton debut came in 2010. He led the club to win both the Gallagher Premiership and European Challenge Cup in 2014.

He was the Premiership’s player of the season in 2011.

Tom Wood captained his country on three occasions as figures from across the game paid tribute to the player

Tom Wood captained his country on three occasions as figures from across the game paid tribute to the player

One of his finest moments at club level was a decisive try in the 2014 Premiership play-off against Northampton’s bitter rivals Leicester.

Saints’ director of rugby Chris Boyd said: ‘In my tenure at Saints, Woody has brought a massive amount of experience and leadership quality to our group – not to mention giving 100 per cent every time he plays.

‘You can’t overstate the contribution he’s made on the field and if you look at his entire career in Northampton, there aren’t many people who have done more for the jersey in the history of the club.

Tom Wood appeared at two World Cups for England, including the disappointing 2015 home edition

Tom Wood appeared at two World Cups for England, including the disappointing 2015 home edition

‘In any organisation – elite sport or otherwise – it is so important to have people within it that are deeply and emotionally connected to that organisation.

‘Woody is that sort of guy. He’s been an incredible competitor and the ultimate team man and I know everyone at Franklin’s Gardens wishes him the very best for his retirement.’ Wood’s England debut came against Wales in Cardiff in 2011.

‘It was a privilege to have coached Tom for a large part of his international career,’ said former England head coach Stuart Lancaster, now with Leinster.

‘He was tough, uncompromising and skilful and held himself and others to the highest of standards. I have particularly fond memories of his captaincy during the Argentina tour in 2013 where he was exceptional in leading a younger team and helping them achieve their potential.

‘His longevity as a player is a testament to his professionalism and commitment and I am certain with all the qualities he has, whichever path he chooses next, he will have success.’

The 2011 World Cup came after Tom Wood had been named Premiership player of the season months before

The 2011 World Cup came after Tom Wood had been named Premiership player of the season months before

source: dailymail.co.uk