Ayr rugby legend Frazier Climo to retire after Super Series Sprint play-off final

Stand-off, who has rolled back the years since returning to Bulls line-up in recent weeks, hopes to bow out after helping Millbrae men claim another piece of silverware

Frazier Climo will return after Friday night's Super Series Sprint play-off final against Heriot's. Image: George McMillan
Frazier Climo will return after Friday night's Super Series Sprint play-off final against Heriot's. Image: George McMillan

FRAZIER CLIMO will bring the curtain down on his long and distinguished playing career after Friday night’s Super Series Sprint play-off final between Ayrshire Bulls and Heriot’s at Millbrae, which is bound to be a poignant moment given the intensity of his decade and a half long love affair with the club he first joined as a fresh-faced 21-year-old straight off the plane from his native New Zealand back in 2008. 

The stand-off has firmly established himself as one of the Millbrae greats during two stints in Burns Country. He marshalled Ayr to their maiden Premiership success in 2009 and to the Scottish Cup the following year.

He returned to his homeland to play for New Plymouth Old Boys and Taranaki Bulls (helping them to their first Ranfurly Shield success in 15 years and scoring the opening try in their first defence of the trophy at Yarrow Park off an inside pass from a certain Beauden Barrett), then had a brief spell in Wales with the Scarlets (which was cut short due to a leg break and ankle dislocation), before returning to Ayrshire in 2015

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During the last eight years he has been based in Kilmarnock, with wife Shelly and children Mila and Luke, whilst pulling on the pink and black hoops every match-day weekend, playing a key role in Ayr’s 2017 Premiership title and the 2019 double, when he nailed a touchline penalty to snatch an injury-time win over Heriot’s in the Scottish Cup Final at Murrayfield having missed an equally high-pressure conversion from the same spot two minutes earlier.

Asked afterwards about the ice coursing through his veins as he slotted the kick, he quipped: “How often do you see me miss from the same spot twice?”

When Super6 came along in late 2019, Climo started for Bulls in the first two games of the inaugural championship but then stepped back as Ross Thompson followed by Tom Jordan established themselves in the No 10 slot before moving on to full-time contracts with Glasgow Warriors. He carried on playing and coaching the Ayr Club XV, before moving back to the Bulls last year.

After Friday night, Climo, who is now 36, will continue as one of Bulls head coach Pat MacArthur‘s assistants, alongside his his day job with Ayr Community Rugby Trust, predominately overseeing the Ayr Youth Academy set-up, where this year’s Scotland Under-20s stand-off Richie Simpson came through the ranks.

It feels like it was written in the stars that his last dance is at home against Heriot’s – “It had to be Heriot’s!” said Bulls media manager Callum Kerr – with another piece of silverware for the Millbrae trophy cabinet on the line.

Tickets for the match, which kicks off at 7.35pm, can be purchased HERE.

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About David Barnes 3377 Articles
David has worked as a freelance rugby journalist since 2004 covering every level of the game in Scotland for publications including he Herald/Sunday Herald, The Sunday Times, The Telegraph, The Scotsman/Scotland on Sunday/Evening News, The Daily Record, The Daily Mail/Mail on Sunday and The Sun.

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