Former Wales star James Hook is to retire at the end of the season when his Ospreys contract expires.


Hook’s career spans 16 years and boasts 81 caps in almost a decade spent in the international arena and also includes 148 appearances for the Welsh region.

The 34-year-old from Port Talbot, who can play at fly-half and centre, signed his first professional contract in 2005 and admitted he isn’t fearing the thought of hanging up his boots.

“It’s sad but something I’m really looking forward to. It comes to everyone at some point and now it’s time for me,” he said.

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Hey Guys, Just want to let you know that I’ll be retiring from the game of rugby that I love so much, at the end of this season. I've been privileged to do what I love for so long. Never in my wildest dreams, starting out as a 5 year old playing for Aberavon Quins, did I think I’d experience what I have in the game. Rugby has given me so many incredible experiences which has allowed me to travel and live in some of the best places. Every team I have played for since the start has shaped my journey and given me incredible memories that I will always treasure. I have so many people to thank. Firstly, my teams. Thank you @aberavonquins125, @aberavonrfc, @tatasteelrfc, @neathrugbyofficial, @ospreys_official, @usapofficiel, @officialgloucesterrugby, @barbarians_fc, @welshrugbyunion and the @britishandirishlions Massive thanks to all the fans who supported me throughout the highs and lows of my career. I’m truly grateful and have appreciated your support so much. Thank you to the people who have made my dreams possible – my teammates, coaches, backroom staff, parents, Grandparents, brother, sister, my in laws, along with my friends, sponsors and my agent Derwyn. Lastly, but by no means least, thank you to my amazing wife Kim, and our three sons – you’ve been my rock and constant, lived it with me and backed me every step of the way. It’s been an unbelievable ride and I’ll attack my next adventures in the same way that I always approached the game, and that is – play what’s in front, take a few risks, and do it all with as much positivity as I can possibly bring. Thank you ? x

A post shared by James Hook (@james___hook) on

“I’ve had lots of highlights, winning Grand Slam titles and Six Nations and going on the Lions tour in 2009.

“Then signing my first professional contract was a big moment for me. Growing up I always aspired to be a professional rugby player.


“You never think it’ll actually happen so when it did it really was amazing.”

Hook spent six years at Perpignan and Gloucester, but started and ended his career at the Ospreys to become their second highest points scorer with 841.

He has written a series of children’s books that are due to be published later this year, but he will not be leaving rugby behind entirely.


“I want to stay involved in the game, particularly working on the skills, like I do now with the young kickers and the age-grade sides, and I’m hoping to finish my level three coaching qualification,” Hook said.

“It’ll be nice to spend time with my family, my three young boys and my wife. It’s going to be sad not playing at the end of the season, but you’ve got to be positive and look on the bright side and I’m looking forward to what’s next.”

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