MATT SMITH has announced his retirement from rugby at the age of 23. The flanker, who has been involved at Glasgow Warriors as either an academy player or full-time squad member for the last six years, and who has made 20 appearances for the club since his debut during the 2016-17 season, says that he no longer finds the game enjoyable and that ‘it has become a chore to get up for training’.
The news comes just 17 months after Smith was called into Gregor Townsend’s Scotland training squad for the 2019 Six Nations. However, he struggled thereafter to command regular game-time at the Warriors and ended up being sent out on loan to Edinburgh in February. He did not pick-up any game-time there either, and it was announced last month that he would become a free agent after his Warriors contact had run its course this summer.
“This is one of the hardest things I have had to do in my life,” explained Smith, in a message posted on his Twitter account. “Today I announced that I have decided to walk away from that I truly love and which has given me so much joy.
“However, given the current pandemic, I have had time to really reflect and come to realise that rugby is no longer enjoyable for me and that it has become a chore to get up for training.
“I have met some of the most amazing people on my journey and come out of it with wonderful, life long friends. I thank all of the people who have supported me throughout my career, I would never have been able to do it without them.”