Wallabies stalwart Stephen Moore will hang up his boots for good when the full-time whistle sounds after the Wallabies clash with Scotland this weekend.
Moore, 34, had already announced his intentions to retire from international rugby following the Wallabies’ November tour, but has decided he will no longer take on a second season with the Queensland Reds.
“I’d started planning for life after rugby since announcing my retirement from the International game back in July this year and the opportunity that I was exploring materialised probably six months earlier than I had expected,” Moore, who added that his decision will allow Reds coach Brad Thorn to plan towards next season, said.
“Someone once said to me that ideally you want something to retire to, and not from, and I think those are really wise words. The time feels right to finish my rugby career and I’m looking forward to watching the Reds develop under Brad’s guidance.
“He has shown over many years that he knows what it takes to be the best in the world. I have also been very grateful to have worked alongside Michael Cheika and proud of how Michael Hooper has embraced his role as Wallaby captain and everything that goes with that.”
The veteran hooker had been considering his options for several weeks and finally broke the news to his Wallabies teammates Tuesday ahead of his final career game in Edinburgh.
After 15 seasons at the top level, Moore will end his career having played 129 Tests and 177 Super Rugby games since his 2003 debut — including 26 Tests as Wallabies captain– a feat only three fellow Wallabies legends — Nathan Sharpe [288 games], George Gregan [275 games] and George Smith [268 games] come close to matching.
At Super Rugby level, Moore’s early retirement will give young hookers Andrew Ready and Alex Mafi new opportunities under new coach Brad Thorn.