Ex-England Sevens captain retires

Date published: April 22 2015

Former England Sevens captain and Yorkshire centre Rob Vickerman has retired on medical grounds with a neck injury.

Vickerman made his debut for Leeds in October 2005 and returned to the club last season as part of the Yorkshire Carnegie project, of which he is a passionate advocate. In total he has made 69 appearances for the club in all competitions and scored 18 tries.

As well as playing in the Premiership with Leeds, he also played for Newcastle Falcons and captained England to the Sevens World Cup Final in Russia, in 2013.

"Ultimately, it's sad to be included in the growing number of players having to retire prematurely," Vickerman told Yorkshire Carnegie's official website.

"I can't think of any superlative that justifies my content from looking back at my career. I've played with and against the top players in the game and I've being coached and developed by some of the world's best rugby leaders. I've spent every day training for a passion and hobby, and got to call it a job.

"It is a perspective and honour I've never lost sight of. I would like to thank my wife, Gemma, and my family first and foremost; and the staff, coaches, players and supporters who have helped me over the years at Leeds, Newcastle and with England.

"I have been fortunate to work with some outstanding leaders in their own particular field and I hope to put those lessons into good practice in future."

England Head Coach Stuart Lancaster paid tribute to Vickerman having first worked with him as a schoolboy player in the Leeds Academy and then coached him in the first team in his time as Head Coach at the club.

"I have known Rob since he was 15 and he has always been a driven, determined and talented player, representing his Country throughout his career.

"He has worked under many coaches and has always taken an active interest in not only coaching but also leadership and the man management of players in order to get the best out of people.

"Now that he has retired from playing I believe he has a tremendous amount to offer both businesses and sport on how to create high performing teams but also creating environments where people can reach their true potential.

"He brings a huge amount of experience from the world of International rugby and I am sure he would be a great asset to any organization," added Lancaster.

Yorkshire Carnegie Head Coach Bryan Redpath added: "Having been forced to retire myself through injury, I know from personal experience how tough this decision is for any player.

"Rob has been smart and looked outside the game over recent years knowing one day this situation is only round the corner.

"It is great that he will continue to be involved with the club off the field and I am sure he will be a key asset for us on a commercial front as we move into an exciting era next season with Yorkshire Carnegie."