Alex Wootton: Connacht wing to hang up his boots while Ulster finisher Jacob Stockdale reflects on ‘massive’ win
Connacht wing Alex Wootton has announced his retirement from professional rugby union and will hang up his boots at the end of the season.
Wootton, who joined Connacht from Munster in 2020, has played 40 times for the province since arriving, scoring 18 tries in an impressive stint in green.
The England-born finisher played for Munster from 2016 until his departure and also turned out for Ireland U20s and Ireland’s Sevens side in his career.
Before switching to Munster, the 28-year-old was part of Northampton Saints’ academy and was in a thankful mood when announcing his retirement.
Stopping on his own terms
“After 11 incredible years playing professionally for Northampton Saints, Munster, Connacht and representing Ireland 7s, I have decided to retire from professional rugby on my own terms at the end of the 2022/23 season,” said the prolific Wootton when speaking to Connacht’s official website.
“I am extremely grateful for the opportunities that rugby has afforded me and I would like to express my gratitude to my teammates, coaches, support staff and fans over the years who have been with me every step of the way. Playing alongside such talented and dedicated individuals has been an absolute privilege.”
He added: “I would also like to give a special mention to my wife and my family, who have been a constant source of love, support and encouragement throughout my rugby career. Their unwavering presence and understanding have been instrumental in my success.
“Retiring from rugby is the right decision for me and my loved ones. I am excited about the opportunities that await me in the next chapter of my life and I look forward to embracing new challenges with the same passion and dedication that I brought to the rugby field.
“I want to extend my appreciation to everyone who has been a part of my journey. It has been an incredible ride, one that I will always cherish and hold dear to my heart.”
Ulster happy with maximum
Elsewhere in the United Rugby Championship, Ulster wing Jacob Stockdale was thrilled with their six-try 42-20 win on the road at Cardiff on Saturday.
Stockdale was among the try-scorers over the weekend and believes the victory is “massive” for his outfit as they push for a strong finish to the campaign.
“It’s massive for the team,” he told Ulster’s official Twitter page.
“Obviously we’re chasing the Stormers now and trying to get that home semi-final so every point is massive. To be able to pick up a bonus point and not just the win is huge for us and hopefully we can keep pushing on over the next couple of weeks.”
The Ireland international’s try at the Arms Park was extra special for Stockdale after a run of injuries and he was understandably happy to touch down.
“Yeah, it felt pretty good,” said the wing. “I think it’s nearly two years since I scored a competitive try for Ulster so it was good to get that off my back.”
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