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Saracens statement: Immediate effect retirement of Tom Woolstencroft

By Liam Heagney
Saracens' Tom Woolstencroft (Photo by Patrick Khachfe/Getty Images)

Saracens hooker Tom Woolstencroft has called time on his playing career with immediate effect at the age of 29. The former England U20s front-rower played for Bath and London Irish before switching to Sarries in 2018, going on to win numerous trophies and battling the likes of current England skipper Jamie George for selection.

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A statement read: “Saracens regret to announce that Tom Woolstencroft has retired from rugby with immediate effect. The hooker, who has been one of the great Saracens hookers across his six years at the club. has unfortunately been recovering from concussion for the majority of the 2023/24 campaign and has now been forced into retirement on medical grounds.

“The 29-year-old made 85 appearances after joining in 2018 from London Irish, with his try-scoring record speaking for himself as the master of breaking away from rolling mauls.

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“In his first season at StoneX Stadium, he won the Premiership and Champions Cup double, and he went on to add another Premiership title to his collection in the 2022/23 season.

“He also played a crucial part in helping Saracens’ return to the top flight as he was an ever-present during the Championship-winning campaign in 2021.

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“Woolstencroft’s leadership ability saw him captain the club on a number of occasions, and his battles with the likes of Jamie George and Theo Dan for the No2 shirt have been a crucial part of the success in North London.”

Woolstencroft said: “Coming to terms with having to retire has been tough, particularly when it’s a club like Saracens you are leaving behind. I am proud of my career, and particularly my contributions to this team.

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“Saracens is a club everyone aspires to play for, and to have been involved these last six seasons has been the greatest privilege. The success on the pitch surpassed anything I could have ever wished for, but it’s the time off the field and friendships made that I will cherish the most.

“I have got to thank the coaches for putting their faith in me, and to the medical staff for patching me back together a fair few times. To the supporters, you have always given everything and carried the team and me through tough times, thank you. Sarries will always be home for my wife and I, and we can’t wait to see what this squad can achieve.”

Director of rugby Mark McCall added: “We are of course sad that Tom has had to bring his career to a premature end, but he can look back and be incredibly proud of what he achieved and the high regard he is held in by everyone at the club.

“Tom was a tough, uncompromising player who always led by example, the sort of player you were glad was on your team and not in the opposition. He has contributed enormously to our club over the last six years and we wish him success and happiness in what comes next.”

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