Swinson to retire from professional rugby
Glasgow Warriors second-rower Tim Swinson has announced that he will be calling time on his playing career at the end of the 2019/20 season, following an eight-year spell with the club.
The 33-year-old hangs up his boots after 136 appearances and 16 tries for Glasgow Warriors since his debut against Connacht in September 2012, having initially joined the club from Newcastle Falcons in the summer of that year.
His physical and all-action style of play quickly made him a key part of the Glasgow setup, with his hard carrying and uncompromising defence immediately endearing him to the Warrior Nation.
The second-rower was a key member of Gregor Townsend’s title-winning squad in 2014/15, making 19 appearances across all competitions en route to the club’s first-ever piece of silverware.
Swinson’s all-action style also saw him make a major impact on the club’s run to an inaugural European quarter-final in 2016/17; the former Falcon earned back-to-back man-of-the-match awards against Munster and Leicester Tigers in January 2017, scoring a try in the 43-0 win over the latter at Welford Road.
He is one of only two players in club history to join the list of Glasgow Warriors centurions after making 100 appearances for a previous club - only former hooker Dougie Hall can match the second-rower’s achievement in the professional era.
His form for the Warriors saw Swinson earn 38 caps for Scotland, making his debut against South Africa on the 2013 summer tour.
Also capable of playing on the blindside flank, he was named in Vern Cotter’s 31-man squad for the 2015 Rugby World Cup in England and made four appearances in the tournament.
His sole try in the dark blue shirt came in 2017, finishing off a flowing team move against France at the Stade de France.
Swinson has made 10 appearances to date in the 2019/20 campaign, touching down for a try in February’s victory over the Dragons at Scotstoun.
“It’s a hard goodbye to the game I’ve played for the last 14 years, but it’s time to move onto the next adventure,” said the second-rower.
“The memorable games, victories and friendships won’t be lost, but the camaraderie will be missed.
“To the teammates who shared those highs also made the lows, the injuries and disappointments manageable, I thank you.
“To the fans who make the game what it is - whose support, undaunted by obscure away travel and awful weather, never falters - the game would be in a far worse place without you.”
Glasgow Warriors Head Coach Dave Rennie paid tribute to the second-rower’s professionalism following the announcement.
“Tim has had a wonderful career and it’s fitting that it ends on his terms,” he told glasgowwarriors.org.
“Possessing a great work ethic, Tim is a very intelligent lineout forward and his knowledge and one-man menace mentality makes him the sharpest defensive operator I’ve worked with.
“Competitive and aggressive, he brings a physical edge to training that wasn’t always appreciated by the victims but the hallmark of his game. His commitment to the club and his team mates was highlighted in rehabbing from two long term injuries over the past couple seasons. His resilience evident throughout.
“Tim has made a massive contribution to the club both on and off the field and we wish him, Elly and their two kids all the best for the future.”
Glasgow Warriors Managing Director Nathan Bombrys added: “Everyone at the club would like to wish Tim and his family all the very best for the next stage in his life.
“He’s been a mainstay in our pack ever since joining the club in 2012, bringing a real hard edge to the engine room. His determination and physicality have been a real asset to the club over the past eight years, and his class has been underlined by his performances in some of our biggest ever matches.
“It’s great for not only Scottish Rugby but the wider sport that Tim’s planning to train as a referee once he has hung up his boots. He’s a person that has a great understanding of the game, is a good communicator, and after such a long career in the second row knows what foul play looks like when he sees it!
“It’s great that Tim and his family are remaining in Glasgow – we look forward to welcoming him back to Scotstoun when it’s safe to do so and giving him the send-off his service to the club over the years deserves.”