Tom Wood: Legendary Northampton and ex-England flanker calls time on his career

·2-min read
 Credit: PA Images
Credit: PA Images

Northampton and former England international flanker Tom Wood has announced that he will be hanging up his boots at the end of the season following 12 years at Franklin’s Gardens.

Wood, 35, has made 240 appearances for the Saints and helped complete the Premiership and European Challenge Cup double with the club in 2014.

During his time with England the flanker won 50 caps, three of which he was captain for, and was involved in two World Cup campaigns and two victorious Six Nations efforts.

Unfortunately, due to a shoulder injury sustained in February against Leicester, Wood has not seen the field in three months.

Decorated Saint

The 2019 Premiership Rugby Cup winner said: “Obviously, retiring is a difficult and emotional decision for any player.

“Northampton Saints has been such a big part of my life and I’ve made some very special memories. I feel privileged to have been able to pull on the jersey here for the past 12 seasons.

“I’m very proud of my playing career with both Saints and England. 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, who scooped the Premiership player of the season gong in 2011, was a formidable presence in the back-row and was capable of playing across all three positions there.

Northampton director of rugby Chris Boyd said: “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.

“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.”

Leinster senior coach Stuart Lancaster, who coached Wood for much of his England career, added: “He was tough, uncompromising and skilful and held himself and others to the highest of standards.

“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.”

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