Former Scotland lock Ryder retires

Date published: May 3 2016

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Former Scotland international and Glasgow Warriors lock Tom Ryder is to swap the rugby field for the classroom after announcing his retirement from the game.

Ryder, who was capped twice by Scotland in 2012, will begin training as a PE teacher at Leeds Beckett University this September after deciding to hang up his boots as a professional player.

"When I was in Scotland, I worked in a high school in Glasgow and it was something I enjoyed doing. When you finish playing rugby you know you need to start doing something else, and if you don’t plan you can come unstuck," Ryder explained.

"For the last four or five years I have been gaining experience of teaching in my spare time and worked in a number of schools through the various community programmes that the clubs that I have played at have been involved in.

"Staying in Yorkshire was always an option and I am delighted that things have worked out so I can study at Leeds Beckett University."

Ryder, who joined Yorkshire Carnegie from Northampton Saints, made his debut for Leicester when he was just 18, having played his junior rugby at Newark. He made three appearances for the Tigers before moving to Saracens.

After six seasons for Saracens he then moved north to join Glasgow Warriors.

An outstanding season in 2011/12 saw him named in the PRO12 Team of the Year and earned him a Scotland call up for their tour of the Southern Hemisphere, eligible through his Glasgow-born father.

Scotland were unbeaten on the tour with Ryder coming off the bench in the wins over Samoa and Fiji. He made 87 appearances for Glasgow until his departure in 2014.

Looking back on his career, Ryder said: “There have been lots of highlights and I have been privileged to have played for some good clubs, and played at the top level of rugby.

"There are certain games which stand out as special and my time at Glasgow was some of the best rugby I played. To be named in PRO12 team of the year was a great honour as was going on tour with Scotland.

"That tour was a great success and an historic one for Scotland. The last few years has been tough with injuries and unfortunately I have never been able to get back to the same form I had before.

"Having played professional since I was a teenager, I have enjoyed my career and now I am looking forward to my next challenge in teaching.”

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