CHRIS FUSARO has announced his retirement from professional rugby at the end of this season. The Glasgow Warriors and Scotland flanker is calling time on a distinguished career in which he played 183 games for the Scotstoun club, second only to fellow back-rowers Ryan Wilson and Rob Harley.
The 31-year-old first turned out for the Warriors in February 2010, starting at open-side against Cardiff Blues at Firhill. Throughout his career, Fusaro’s pace, tenacity and intelligence invariably trumped any lack of size, meaning he has been a key figure at the club over the last 11 years, although injury has limited his involvement to just four appearances this season.
His standout campaign was 2011-12, when he was named both the Player of the Season and Players’ Player of the Season at the club’s end-of-season Awards Dinner. He received the Glasgow Warriors Coaches’ Award at the 2018 Awards Dinner in recognition of his efforts on and off the field.
The former Howe of Fife man was capped four times for Scotland during 2014, and also wore the thistle at age-grade and sevens level.
“The years are full of nothing but the best of memories, and it is hard to put into words my gratitude to everyone who has helped me make them,” said Fusaro in an Instagram post.
“To all my coaches at Glasgow who gave me the opportunities to play for a team who take immense pride in what it means to represent the Warriors, thank you.
“To the fans at Firhill and then Scotstoun who have given us incredible support over the years, without you our team wouldn’t be where it is today.
“To all my brothers, past and present, the memories I’ve made with you, on and off the pitch, will last a lifetime. I’ll miss the feeling after a game when you look around and know that everyone has given everything, although the not being sore part might be quite nice …
“Last of all, my long-suffering wife, Katie. Thank you for being there for the whole journey, for the many ups and down, for keeping me smiling and grounded along the way and for singlehandedly bringing up our kids whilst I was away doing what I loved.”
Scroll down to continue reading:
Defence Coach Kenny Murray paid tribute to the flanker’s professionalism. “Chris has been a player who not only gives everything on the pitch but is an example to others in how he prepares off it,” he said.
“The fact he has been a one-club player and sits third on the club’s all time appearance list is a testament to his team first attitude and commitment to Glasgow throughout his 11 seasons.
“He exhibits the traits of a Warrior more than most – hard work, effort and selflessness and has been a part of the leadership group of the club for a number of years now which is a testament to his ability to lead others and drive standards
“He has been a fantastic servant to the club and is someone who will be missed in the environment.”
Glasgow Warriors Managing Director Al Kellock – a former team-mate – also paid tribute.
“I’d like to congratulate Chris on all that he has achieved in an outstanding rugby career,” he said. “He has set standards at Glasgow Warriors for over a decade and had an enormous impact on the club and all those who have been connected to it.
“On a personal level he has been a great support to me over many years in various guises and for that I can’t thank him enough.
“I wish Chris, Katie and the kids all the very best in the next chapter and look forward to having them back at Scotstoun to allow the supporters to show how much he has meant to them.”