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Steve Thompson Retirement

#1
As much as I don't like the guy as a player, I have to say that rugby will miss him. I think this just illustrates how physical rugby is getting in the professional era when a 28 year old has to retire due to injury.

Some schools of thought reckon that as a front-rower, you don't really come into your prime until about the age of 28 or 29 anyways.

Good luck fella in whatever you choose to do after this...

http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport1/hi/rugby_union/english/6557149.stm

England and Northampton hooker Steve Thompson has been forced to retire from rugby at the age of 28 because of a serious neck injury.
Thompson, who won the World Cup with England in 2003, said he was left with no choice after receiving expert medical opinion.

"If I had taken one more knock, I would have ended up paralysed, or even dead," he told the Mail on Sunday.

He made 170 appearances for Saints and won 47 caps for England.

Thompson's last game for the club was their Heineken Cup group stage 17-8 defeat to Biarritz on 21 January.

"I got tackled, was swung around, and landed head first into the ground," said Thompson.

"I insisted on playing on a for a couple of minutes, thinking I'd regain movement in my arm, but after I collected the ball from a Biarritz penalty kick that hit the post, I booted it down the field and realised I had to go off.

"That was the last action I'd ever see on a rugby field.

"I went to see a specialist, Nick Birch, at the Three Shires Hospital in Northampton and he showed me the results of a scan," added Thompson.

"My disc was squashing my spine and he told me I was very lucky to still be walking.

"I felt as if I'd emerged from a serious car accident alive, rather than thinking that something I dearly loved had been taken away from me."

Thompson received a second opinion from specialist Ricky Nelson, who successfully helped England props Jason Leonard and Phil Vickery with neck and back problems, but the original prognosis was confirmed.

"He told me I needed an operation to remove the disc because if I knocked it even during a mundane activity around the house it could kill me," said Thompson.

"I'll miss the game. I'll miss the journeys away with the lads and the adrenalin, the fear, the togetherness and the achievement."

Thompson, who said he would like to move into a coaching role at Saints, becomes the second member of England's World Cup-winning front row to retire prematurely because of injury.

Former Gloucester and Sale prop Trevor Woodman retired at the age of 29 in 2005 with a long-term back injury.

And Vickery - the third member of the starting front row in Sydney - has had to battle against career-threatening back problems before returning as England captain.

Thompson was on the bench for Northampton's Heineken Cup win in 2000, and he won the 2003 Six Nations Grand Slam with England and was selected for the 2005 Lions tour to New Zealand.

He started off as a flanker in Northampton's academy, but former Saints coach Ian McGeechan persuaded him to switch to the front row.
 
#2
The ''crouch touch hold engage'' call was brought in to try and prevent neck and back injuries at the scrum; so I'm told by a bloody Kiwi!
 
#3
Yes it was Trev however I'm of the opinion that after the 'hold', you just have to hit your opposite number with more force than before :D

Anyways, what do the Kiwi's know about scrummaging? They have always been notoriously weak in the front row (apart from Sean Fitzpatrick obv) and it's about the only area where Northern Hemisphere teams can outplay them.

Awaits bite from resident Kiwi lurkers....
 
#4
Sean Fitzpatrick was awesome; it was him that cut the sleeves out of his jersey in the World Cup to make binding more difficult was it not?
 
#5
the_matelot said:
Yes it was Trev however I'm of the opinion that after the 'hold', you just have to hit your opposite number with more force than before :D

Anyways, what do the Kiwi's know about scrummaging? They have always been notoriously weak in the front row (apart from Sean Fitzpatrick obv) and it's about the only area where Northern Hemisphere teams can outplay them.

Awaits bite from resident Kiwi lurkers....
Its true, lately Ive been using the "Pause" part to pre-grip on the opposing props shoulder and move my legs further back, getting a lot more force on the engage. All the new rules do is minimize collapses.
 
#6
Trevelez said:
Sean Fitzpatrick was awesome; it was him that cut the sleeves out of his jersey in the World Cup to make binding more difficult was it not?
Christ, loads of them used to do it but if I remember correctly, it was the Aussie Prop Tony Daly who was the one who started it off at least.
 
#7
He's just shitting himself about touring South Africa later this summer :oops:

I certainly wouldn't call most All Black front rows of the modern era weak. In the 90's it was Craig Dowd, Fitz, Olo Brown, and currently it's Tony Woodcock, Kevin Mealamu and Carl Hayman. Best front row in world rugby at present.
 
#9
Trevelez said:
it was him that cut the sleeves out of his jersey in the World Cup to make binding more difficult was it not?
It wasn't Fitzblacktruck. David Sole started it during the 1990 Grand Slam.
 
#10
Oh yeah back on thread...

Shame about Shrek. Terrible line out chucker, but very good in the loose. But that seems to be norm these days. Oh yeah and a Church regular.
 
#11
the_baron said:
Oh yeah back on thread...

Shame about Shrek. Terrible line out chucker, but very good in the loose. But that seems to be norm these days. Oh yeah and a Church regular.
I believe such great players as Carlos Spencer and Hallveg (!) were also in attendance that day...

Anyway, as previously posted, his lineout accuracy went a bit off kilter, but he has got a medal to dote on in his retirement.

Good Luck to the fella.
 
#12
David Sole cut his shirtsleeves right back (and vaselined his upper arms) in order to minimise any advantage Jeff Probyn had over him. Didn't work TBH. Jeff Probyn in the tight was an absolutely awesome prop and extremely good technically. Inccidentally Jeff NEVER forgave the England selectors for not taking him to the rugby world cup (87) as they preferred to take a prop who could play tight or loose rather than Jeff whose specialist position was tight. If you've ever read his book he comes across as seriously bitter and twisted over that.
I have to disagree about the best modern front row, certainly in the last world cup the Argentinians had an incredible front row, easily the best in terms of scrummaging and sheer combativeness, just a shame the rest of the team weren't as good.
Prize for losing the plot as regards front row though goes to the Aussies, they HAD a good front row in recent years but then thanks to the popularity of super 12 et al decided to go for a super lean and fit front row of ball carriers. In games in the last world cup they were absolutely mullahed. TBH a bit of an embarrassment.
Back on thread though, regarding his retirement, yes a bit sad. Never my favourite hooker TBH but always sad when injury forces retirement.
 
#13
And Western Force / Australia hooker Brendan Cannon has also announced his retirement effective immediately. Neck injury ....

As much as I admire the coal-face scrummagers in Rugby's engine room I am glad I never played in the tight five. Too short, too small, TOO FAST :D
 
#14
I think that Ian McLauchlan (the mighty mouse himself) also cut his sleeves off in antideluvian times, as did Stack Stevens. It was almost certainly a tight-head that did it first! Jyust as it was probably a loose head who put a handful of deep-heat in his pocket, ready to smear down his chin in the opening scrum of the game for the first time...
 

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