Bristol’s Tom Linsay has announced that he will retire from professional rugby at the end of his current contract, bringing the curtain down on an impressive 16-year career. The 32-year-old, who joined Bristol ahead of the 2018/19 season, also represented Wasps, Gloucester and Bedford Blues.

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“Tom is massively respected by the players and, as RPA (Rugby Players Association) ambassador for the club, he has done a great job in not only contributing to the Bears vision as a player, but also representing the views of the squad on a number of issues,” said Bristol Director of Rugby Pat Lam.

“We congratulate Tom on his career – he established himself as a Premiership performer from a young age and we were all impressed by the impact he had at Bedford too, which was why I brought him to Bristol.

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“Tom has aspirations to be a coach and his work as forwards coach with Bears Women last season has underlined his leadership quality and understanding of the game.

‘We wish Tom and Millie all the best for the next chapter and thank him for his commitment to Bristol.”

An advocate for mental health awareness, Lindsay was closely involved in a number of Bears Community Foundation programmes during his time with the club.

He added: “It feels like the right time for me to step away from playing professionally and pursue my ambitions to move into coaching.

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“I’ve absolutely loved working with Bears Women and hopefully that can continue, while I’m also exploring other opportunities too.

“It has been a privilege to represent Wasps, Gloucester, Bedford and Bristol during my career and I’m grateful to my teammates, the staff and the supporters who have made it such a special experience throughout.

“Rugby teaches you brilliant life lessons around teamwork, leadership and humility – I hope that I can pass on some of that experience in whatever I do next.

“I want to pass on my thanks to the RPA too, they do a fantastic job in supporting players across the country and it’s been fantastic to be involved in that.

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“My wife and I love Bristol as a city and we have made some great friends here – I wish the Bears the very best for the future.”

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