Warriors captain Kellock to retire

Date published: April 2 2015

Former Scotland captain and second-row Al Kellock is to retire from rugby at the end of the season at the age of 33. 

The Glasgow Warriors lock and skipper has played 154 times for the Warriors, captaining them on 150 occasions since joining from Edinburgh.

He also has 56 international caps to his name since making his debut back in 2004 against Australia.

His last Test appearance came in 2013 in a game against Japan, and after retirement he will start a new role with the Warriors and the SRU as an ambassador for the sport.

"I feel the time is right for me to retire and it's an emotional and reflective time for me," he said.

"I've always had a rule of playing every game like it's my last as you never know when that will be, but now I can see it coming pretty quickly, after 17 years playing senior rugby.

"I'm excited about the next chapter but there are so many things that I'll miss massively, especially the times in the changing room before and after a game.

"The supporters have been great with me and I hugely appreciate the backing they've given me throughout my career.

"When I first joined the club we were bringing in 1,500 people at Hughenden, but now we're regularly exceeding 6,000 at Scotstoun, which makes me incredibly proud and happy to be part of the journey.

"To have captained the side for nine years is such an honour and I have so many fantastic memories, such as beating Toulouse away from home in Europe and winning against Munster in the Pro12 semi-final last season when my daughter was mascot.

"My new role allows me to help Scottish Rugby grow through the ambassador role, while continuing my involvement at Glasgow Warriors.

"At Glasgow, I'll be looking to continue a number of things I've done as captain, such as developing the culture of the club and mentoring players.

"I'm excited to continue my involvement at an organisation I'm very passionate about.”

Kellock has captained the Warriors to the PRO12 play-offs on four occasions, and they look set to finish in the top four again this year.

Under head coach Gregor Townsend they have established themselves as contenders, reaching the final last season, and the former Scotland fly-half paid tribute to his skipper.

"Al has been instrumental in Glasgow's rise over the last five or six years and he's been an excellent role model for our values, with the work he does to improve himself, his teammates and the club," said Townsend.

"He is very passionate about rugby in Glasgow and it's great that he's moving into an important role with Scottish Rugby and Glasgow Warriors when he retires.

"Al has put his body on the line a lot during his nine years with the club and he's still competing very hard with the other second-rows to be selected ahead of them. He shows excellent leadership whether he plays or not and his first thought is how he can help the team win.

"In my three years at the club he has been an excellent person to work with – the ideal captain. He has left a fantastic legacy for the future of the club to continue to grow.

"I know how much it would mean for his last season to be even better than last year and he's training really hard to be at his best for our remaining games."