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 in which he has won 50 international appearances and won the Premiership title with the Saints

  • After 12 years with the Saints, flanking time for a brilliant career
  • Tom Wood hasn’t played since February with a shoulder injury
  • He spent 12 seasons with the Saints, appearing for the club 240 times
  • Wood has won 50 appearances for England, captaining his country three times

Steadfast Northampton defender and former England flanker Tom Wood will have time for his career towards the end of the season.

The 35-year-old has not played since February with a shoulder injury and has confirmed that this season will be his last.

Wood spent 12 seasons at Northampton, appearing 240 times and scoring 22 tries. He will be remembered as a true legend of the Saints when he announces that he will be gone next month.

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

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

“Northampton Saints has been such a big part of my life that I have created some very special memories,” said Wood.

“I feel honored to have been able to wear the jersey here for the past 12 seasons with amazing players. Of course, retirement is a difficult and emotional decision for any gamer.

“I haven’t been able to make as much of a contribution on the pitch as I would have liked this season due to an injury, but that’s the nature of professional sport.

Flanker has made 240 Northampton appearances in addition to 50 for England

Flanker has made 240 Northampton appearances in addition to 50 for England

“I am very proud of my football career for both Saints and England and I want to thank all the Saints fans who welcomed me during my stay here.

“After working hard in recent years to prepare for life after rugby, I’m excited to see what the next chapter will bring.” Wood has won 50 appearances for England and has appeared at two Rugby World Cups. He was captain of his country three times and helped them in the triumphs of the Six Nations in 2011 and 2017.

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

He was a player in the 2011 Premiership season.

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

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

One of his best moments at club level was his decisive play in the 2014 Premiership play-offs against fierce rival Northampton Leicester.

Saints Rugby Director Chris Boyd said: “During my time at Saints, Woody brought a tremendous amount of experience and leadership quality to our group – not to mention he gives 100 percent every time.

“The contribution he has made on the pitch cannot be overstated, and if you look at his entire career at Northampton, there aren’t many people who have done more for the jersey in the club’s history.

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

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

“In any organization – in elite sport or otherwise – it is very important that there are people within it who are deeply and emotionally connected with it.

– Woody is such a guy. He was an amazing player and the best member of the team and I know everyone at Franklin’s Gardens wishes him all the best in his retirement. Wood’s debut in England was against Wales in Cardiff in 2011.

“It was a privilege to coach Tom for much of his international career,” said former England coach Stuart Lancaster, now working for Leinster.

“He was tough, uncompromising, skillful and kept himself and others to the highest standards. I have a special fondness for his captain during his 2013 tour in Argentina 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’m sure that with all the qualities he has, no matter which path he takes next, he will be a success.”

The 2011 World Cup came after Tom Wood had been voted the season's best player a few months earlier

The 2011 World Cup came after Tom Wood had been voted the season’s best player a few months earlier

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