Blade Thomson to retire from rugby

Rob LloydFeatured, News

Blade Thomson has announced he is to retire from rugby.

The 32-year-old back-rower is to hang up his boots following a head injury.

Signed from the Wellington-based Hurricanes in 2018, Blade made 54 appearances in a Scarlets jersey, scoring three tries.

A member of the New Zealand U20s side that won the 2010 IRB Junior World Championship in Argentina, he played for provincial side Taranaki and then the Hurricanes in Super Rugby, also representing the Maori All Blacks on four occasions.

During his time at the Scarlets, Blade won 10 caps for Scotland, featuring at the 2019 Rugby World Cup in Japan.

An athletic, ball-handling back-rower Blade has been an integral part of the Scarlets squad during his five seasons in West Wales. 

He said: “Myself and my family have come to this decision and I’d like to thank everyone, coaches, players, the back-room and medical staff and all the fans for their support.

“We’ve been made welcome from the moment we came to Llanelli. It’s a special place to play and I’m proud of what I’ve achieved, making more than 50 appearances for the Scarlets and having the honour of representing Scotland.

“We will leave with fond memories of our time here.”

Scarlets head coach Dwayne Peel said: “Blade has been an outstanding Scarlet, on and off the field and we are sad to hear this news, but it is the right decision for him and his family. He is one of the best technical forwards I have coached, a player who gave everything to the cause and a hugely popular member of the squad.”

Scarlets general manager of rugby Jon Daniels said: “Blade has been a brilliant Scarlet, a great athlete and a great bloke as well. He and his family fully immersed themselves in the community here. He has been a superb role model for our younger players and we all wish him well with the next chapter.”

There will be a presentation to Blade straight after Saturday’s BKT United Rugby Championship match against Edinburgh at Parc y Scarlets.