With 81 international caps to his name it could be said James Hook has been there and done it all on the rugby field.
Having announced in January that he planned to retire from playing rugby at the end of the 2019-20 season he yesterday confirmed that to be the case.
Due to the coronavirus pandemic James will not have the opportunity to play in a final farewell game for his beloved Ospreys.
In a statement on his Instagram profile yesterday, Wednesday 3rd June, James said;
“Last week officially marked the end of my Ospreys playing contract and with it, my rugby playing career.
“I was hoping to finish off with a few more appearances but unfortunately, for obvious reasons, I wasn’t able to do that. I’m in the process of sorting out my first step onto the ladder post rugby, which, to be honest, I’m really excited about and this should be confirmed in the next couple of weeks.”
James will however have one last hoorah however as he’s been awarded a testimonial game, he went on to say;
“I’ll be staying in shape for my @hooktestimonial match which now looks likely to take place sometime during 2021.
“Thanks very much to everyone who has supported me through what has been an incredible journey. Thank you!”
His senior rugby career got underway in 2004 with Neath RFC before making the step up to regional rugby with the Ospreys in 2006. He has made 149 appearances for his home region, amassing 841 points.
From 2011 to 2017 James plied his trade in France with USA Perpignan and latterly in the English Premiership with Gloucester. In 146 games (68 Perpignan, 78 Gloucester) James scored 1,095 points.
In his 81-test cap career with Wales he scored 352 points and is a Grand Slam winner. He also represented Wales Sevens at the 2006 Commonwealth Games.
In 2009 James toured with the British & Irish Lions to South Africa. He made his debut against the Lions Super Rugby team but didn’t play a test match on the tour.