Wood leaves Gloucester after 15 years

Date published: June 21 2016

Gloucester veteran, Nick Wood confirmed that he will leave the club after spending 15 years with the Kingsholm Stadium outfit.

The 33-year-old stalwart has amassed a club record of 278 caps for the Cherry and White since making his debut in 2003.

The Gloucester hardman became the first player to make 200 appearances for the club and also shares the record for the most Premierships appearances at a single ground.

Wood acknolwedged the influence the club has had, not only on his rugby but also how much he has learnt off the field during his 15 seasons at Gloucester.

He singled out director of rugby at Worcester, Dean Ryan as well as Nigel Melville, current CEO at USA Rugby. 

Both Ryan and Melville are former Gloucester coaches that handed Wood his first professional contract.

"I've had an amazing time at this wonderful club," Wood said. 

"I arrived here as an 18 year old boy straight from school, and I leave as the man I am today through the friendship and guidance of the players and coaches I've been fortunate enough to work with. The friends I've made amongst the players, coaches and supporters will be friends for life.

"There are a few people who have been particularly important on my journey. I'd like to thank Dean Ryan and Nigel Melville for offering me my first senior contract. 

"The guidance and belief of Carl Hogg and Bryan Redpath over the many years we worked together was invaluable."

The prop, who was convinced that he would be retiring at Gloucester, expressed his gratitude towards the current director of rugby, David Humphreys and noted the Challenge Cup victory in the 2014/15 season as one that he will remember for a very long time.

He has, however, not revealed where he will be plying his trade but admits that he is looking forwad to any challenge.

"I'd also like to thank David and his team of coaches for the opportunities to keep doing what I love doing over the last two years. The Challenge Cup victory was particularly special.

"Beyond a certain point I always saw myself finishing my career at Gloucester. However, that's not to be and such is the nature of professional sport. I look forward to seeing the team achieve their potential in the coming season.

"On a personal note, I am excited to take on the next challenge in my rugby career."

Director of Rugby David Humphreys paid tribute to Wood who will leave the club after 15 years of sterling service.

"Nick's been an outstanding ambassador for Gloucester Rugby, both on and off the pitch, over the past 15 years.

"He should be very proud of what he has achieved at this Club and his record of 278 competitive appearances for Gloucester is testament to his talent and qualities as a rugby player but also his fitness and durability."