Stephen Moore has today confirmed he will retire from all forms of the game, following the Qantas Wallabies’ final Test of the 2017 Spring Tour against Scotland.
Australia’s second most-capped International of all-time had originally planned to play one final season with the St.George Queensland Reds in Vodafone Super Rugby, but will now hang up the boots at Murrayfield on Saturday.
“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 said.
“So I have made the decision, in conjunction with the QRU, to finish my Rugby career now and take up a new opportunity. This also allows Brad (Thorn) and the Reds coaches to move forward with their planning for 2018 and beyond.
“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.
“I couldn’t have done it without all of my teammates, coaches and staff across the years at both Super Rugby and International level though, so I want to thank each of them. I have been very fortunate to have played with and against some of the world’s great players over my career at the Reds, Brumbies and Wallabies.
“I would also like to thank all of the fans that have supported both myself and the team over the years. Many of you I have never met, but you are the reason why playing for your state and country is so special,” Moore said.
Moore made his debut for Queensland in 2003 against the Bulls at Loftus Versfeld, becoming Queensland Representative Number 1157. He went on to play 177 Super Rugby games, finishing as the second-most capped Super Rugby player of all time.
Queensland Rugby Union (QRU) CEO Richard Barker said: “On behalf of everyone at QRU and the wider Rugby community in Queensland, I’d like to congratulate Stephen on an excellent career.
“He is truly one of the great players to emerge from Ballymore and we are immensely proud of all he has achieved in the game.
“Stephen has exemplified what it means to represent Australia and Queensland and his insistence on the highest standards and disciplines is his legacy to the game in this country.
“We wish him well in his future endeavours and know he will always be a passionate member of the Reds family.”
Moore made his Test debut 12 years ago against Samoa in June 2005 before going on to represent Australia at three Rugby World Cups, including captaining Australia to the 2015 Rugby World Cup Final.
The 34-year old was first named Wallabies captain in June 2014, becoming the 81st man to lead Australia. Having represented Australia 128 times, he is the second-most capped Wallabies player of all time and the seventh-most capped in the history of Test Rugby.
The 2018 Reds squad will feature hookers Alex Mafi, who has played eight games for Queensland and was part of the 2017 National Rugby Championship winners Bond University Queensland Country, and Andrew Ready, who has played 27 games for Queensland and captained McInnes Wilson Lawyers Brisbane City in the NRC this year.
Queensland debut: 2003 v Bulls, Loftus Versfeld
Queensland caps: 65
Queensland points: 40 (8T)
Super Rugby debut: 2003 v Bulls, Loftus Versfeld
Super Rugby caps: 177
Super Rugby points: 115 (23T)
Test debut: 2005 v Samoa, Sydney
Test caps: 128 Test points: 40 (8T)