There's always a buzz within the rugby community during this time of year - leagues being wrapped up, many finals and 7s tournaments taking place, as well as summer tours being finalised.
However, the end of the season also provides time for a spot of quiet reflection…a time when players can assess their seasons. It's also a time when those looking to end their playing careers, deliver the news to the world...
Saying goodbye to Andy Goode (for good) last year was tough enough to digest but this year we’ve got to deal with a number of the game’s legends, calling it quits and announcing their retirement to the world.
So, I thought in honour of these legendary chaps, we’d reminisce about their greatness within the sport.
Where should I start; perhaps with his 94 caps for Wales and 5 for the Lions…
What a brilliant and revolutionary scrum half – he gave those who stand above 6ft the hope that they can make it as a 9. Mr Phillips was rather unique however – He possessed a great skill-set, creative rugby brain and controlled his forwards brilliantly, yet he could also act as another forward at the breakdown, if required.
An incredible 15-year career, with the highs massively outweighing the lows. Apparently a career in modelling awaits…as if his ego needed a boost!
Let’s start by saying, what a winger!
His career was somewhat blighted by injury, however this guy doesn’t need to make excuses, the stats speak for themselves. 34 tries in 71 caps for the Wallabies is a brilliant tally, and his 14 RWC tries is only topped by Jonah Lomu and Brian Habana (both 15).
He graced Super Rugby for many years before winning back-to-back European titles with Toulon, where he brought a brilliant energy to Top 14 and Champions Cup rugby.
A true legend of The Stoop, as well as a multi-capped All Black. We'll lose a fantastic player in the Aviva Premiership when Nick Evans hangs up his boots at the end of the season.
Since joining Quins back in 2008, he has helped propel them right to the summit of the Premiership, winning the title in 2012. His contribution to the club was labelled, 'legendary' by Harlequins Director of Rugby, John Kingston.
Well played Nick, well played.
The glue that held French rugby together throughout the last decade, and even when his team-mates where floundering, TD continued to put in inspired performances that saw him topping many stat lists.
His performance against New Zealand in the 2007 RWC, which included an incredible 41 tackles was out of this world, as well as his superb display in the 2011 World Cup Final, also against the All Blacks. The latter was a showcase that inspired his World Player of the Year accolade.
A true Les Blues and European rugby great. Au Revoir Thierry, et Merci.
An extremely talented singer but an incredible rugby player with a phenomenal character and attitude…
Originally of the Melrose black and yellow before turning professional and playing for Glasgow and more recently Saracens, Brown has enjoyed an extremely decorated career, which includes 3 Premiership titles and one Champions Cup with the London outfit.
Described by many as the nicest bloke that you could possibly meet at the bottom of the ruck, he is widely respected by all his fellow peers. He’s set for a coaching role in the Saracens academy and if that doesn’t go well, there’s always the X-Factor.
If your club has any legends hanging up their boots or taking a step back from the club, we want to hear from you!