Moore calls time on career in all forms of the game

International
by Sam Phillips

After 15 years and more than 300 combined Test and Super Rugby caps, Stephen Moore has announced he will step away from all forms of the game.

Moore had planned on playing one more Super Rugby season with the Reds, after announcing his international retirement in July, but he has decided the Wallabies' clash with Scotland on Sunday morning (AEDT) will be the final time he laces the boots up, ending an illustrious career.

Murrayfield was always going to be the scene for Moore's Wallabies finale but he said some exciting post-rugby opportunities helped him make the call to leave Ballymore a year earlier than planned.

"I’d started planning for life after rugby since announcing my retirement from the international game back in July this year and the opportunity that I was exploring materialised probably six months earlier than I had expected,” Moore said.Stephen Moore won't feature for the Reds next season. Photo: RUGBY.com.au/Stuart Walmsley"So I have made the decision, in conjunction with the QRU, to finish my rugby career now and take up a new opportunity.

"This also allows Brad (Thorn) and the Reds coaches to move forward with their planning for 2018 and beyond.

"Someone once said to me that ideally you want something to retire to, and not from, and I think those are really wise words."

With 128 Test caps and 177 Super Rugby matches next to his name, Moore will go down as one of the all time Wallaby greats.

He is the second most capped Wallaby of all time and only Wyatt Crocket has more Super Rugby caps.

That longevity is testament to Moore's dedication.Moore and the Wallabies celebrate a famous victory against the All Blacks at Suncorp Stadium. Photo: RUGBY.com.au/Stuart WalmsleyMoore is the true professional - ticking every box before each start, showing unrivalled commitment to the cause each and every week, something he spoke about ahead of this final Test week.

It's an attitude that made Moore an obvious option to captain his country at the last World Cup and what has made him such an influential figure in this current Wallabies squad.

He signalled the end was near when declaring 2017 as his final year in the Wallabies setup but despite having two years left on his Super Rugby contract, Moore said the time to hang it up felt right.

"The time feels right to finish my rugby career and I’m looking forward to watching the Reds develop under Brad's guidance," he said.

"He has shown over many years that he knows what it takes to be the best in the world.Moore has been an influential figure throughout Michael Cheika's tenure. Photo: Getty Images"I have also been very grateful to have worked alongside Michael Cheika and proud of how Michael Hooper has embraced his role as Wallaby captain and everything that goes with that."

The former Wallabies skipper also thanked the many coaches, players and fans that he had come across since making his debut for the Reds against the Bulls at a raucous Loftus Versfeld in 2003.

"I couldn't have done it without all of my teammates, coaches and staff across the years at both Super Rugby and International level though, so I want to thank each of them," he said.

"I have been very fortunate to have played with and against some of the world's great players over my career at the Reds, Brumbies and Wallabies.

"I would also like to thank all of the fans that have supported both myself and the team over the years.

"Many of you I have never met, but you are the reason why playing for your state and country is so special."

Australia takes on Scotland on Saturday November 25, kicking off at 2:30pm local, Sunday 1:30am AEDT, LIVE on beIN Sports and SBS Viceland.

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