Seymour retires from professional rugby

Seymour retires from professional rugby

Glasgow Warriors winger Tommy Seymour has announced his retirement from professional rugby, bringing the curtain down on an illustrious decade with the club.

One of the most prodigious finishers in club history, the 32-year-old hangs up his boots having crossed the whitewash on 48 occasions in his 150 appearances in Glasgow colours in a career packed with highlights for club, country and the British and Irish Lions.

Only DTH van der Merwe has scored more tries for the Warriors than Seymour, who found himself at the heart of one of the most momentous and historic periods in Glasgow rugby folklore.

Having made his debut against Ulster in September 2011, the Nashville-born flyer quickly became an integral part of the Glasgow setup under first Sean Lineen and then Gregor Townsend.

His solo effort away to Benetton earned him the Glasgow Warriors Try of the Season award in the 2013/14 campaign, as he helped his side to a first-ever RaboDirect PRO12 Final.

Twelve months later and Seymour was part of the jubilant scenes at the Kingspan Stadium in Belfast, having scored four tries in 14 starts to help the Warriors lift the Guinness PRO12 title and earn himself a place in the league’s Dream Team in the process.

As safe under the high ball as any player in world rugby in the last decade, his try-scoring prowess was underlined yet further in the club’s opening home match of the 2016/17 season; the winger crossed for four tries in a 33-25 win over Leinster, matching the club record for tries in one match.

A crucial early try in the 43-0 victory away to Leicester set the Warriors on their way to securing a first-ever Heineken Champions Cup quarter-final, and rubber-stamped his status as one of the premier wingers in the northern hemisphere.

Indeed, his form and consistency in the 2016/17 campaign earned Seymour selection for the 2017 British and Irish Lions tour to New Zealand, a tour on which he flourished.

A try against the Highlanders and a brace against the Hurricanes saw him finish as the tour’s top try-scorers, with many observers believing him to have been unlucky not to feature in a Test match 23.

Seymour had previously retired from international rugby following the 2019 Rugby World Cup, having crossed for 20 tries in 55 appearances for Scotland.

A double against Japan on his first start at BT Murrayfield in 2013 set the tone for what was to come, frequently providing the rapier edge to the Scotland attack.

He scored in every one of his appearances at the 2015 Rugby World Cup, including a length-of-the-field effort against South Africa and a memorable finish in the quarter-final against Australia.

Announcing his retirement, Seymour said: “Although my decision has been made for some time, the words seem almost impossible to write.

“Firstly, to the club that made a home and wove me into its tapestry . Thank you for believing in me and for having faith when you had no reason to. This is my club, this is my home and I’ll never forget what it was to live and play here.

“To the fans that support this club so passionately, it was the greatest privilege to stand behind that badge and represent you in this beautiful game.

“To the physios, S&C and office staff I’ve been so fortunate to work with over my years, your help and presence in my career will never be forgotten. I can’t thank you enough and it was a pleasure to have dealt with you all.

“Lastly and most importantly to my wife Katy and my beautiful kids. You’ve been the backbone that held everything together. I wouldn’t have achieved and had this career without your love and support. The moments were made special because you were there to share them. I’m so proud to be your husband and father.”

Glasgow Warriors Head Coach Danny Wilson said: “Having made over 150 appearances for Glasgow in 10 years at the club, representing his country and playing for the British and Irish Lions, Tommy has achieved a huge amount in the game.

“He will be missed and his achievements within the game should be celebrated. He’s a well respected leader here at Glasgow and has done a lot for both club and country.

“It’s a shame he hasn’t been available to us for more games this season, however, he has worked day in day out to ensure the team taking the field are fully prepared.

“He has been a fantastic servant to the club and we wish him all the best for the future.

Glasgow Warriors Managing Director and former captain Al Kellock added: “I’ve known Tommy for almost 10 years - He’s an incredible rugby player but more importantly a great man.

“He has put a huge amount of himself into this club and has helped enormously on the journey we have gone through.

“He has lead by example both on and off the field and is an example to every young player coming through because you won’t see anyone working harder on their game than Tommy Seymour.

“I’d like to thank Tommy and his wife Katy on behalf of everyone associated with Glasgow Warriors for all that they have given.”

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