Bath captain Hooper forced to retire


Bath captain Stuart Hooper has been forced to retire at the age of 34 due to a back injury.

Hooper has been sidelined since sustaining the injury this season and the former England Saxons captain has now cut short his career on medical advice. 

The lock made 192 appearances for the Premiership club following his move from Leeds Carnegie in 2008, having previously played for Saracens.

"I've had an incredible career, and these last eight years with Bath are ones I will look back on with great fondness," said Hooper.

"I am sad to have not been able to retire on my own terms, however when the medical experts are telling you it's time, you have to listen to them."

"I have loved my time at Bath, made some lifelong friends and worked with some of the most talented people in the sport.

"I'd like to thank all the players, coaches, staff and supporters who have helped make this such an enjoyable period of my life. I feel a huge amount of pride to have worn the Bath jersey and to have led this great club over the last five years - it has been an absolute honour."

Bath head coach Mike Ford said: "Hoops has been an incredible asset to this club over the years, and a fantastic role model for our squad.

"He has been the very epitome of a professional - a skilful, intelligent player, a very strong communicator and leader, and he has the respect of everyone in the game.

"We are hugely disappointed for Hoops that he has been forced to retire and wasn't able to finish the season, but I know he will be doing all he can to assist the squad in any way he can."