Jack Gadd Announces Retirement
Centre to retire at the end of the campaign
Jack Gadd will retire from professional rugby at the end of the campaign after several years of battling a long-term hip problem.
The former Wales U20 centre – who graduated through the Bristol Rugby Academy – will pursue a career in coaching, taking up a role as First Team Coach at Weston College.
Gadd made twenty-nine appearances for the Club since a debut against Neath in 2009, scoring three tries.
“It was a really difficult decision, but one that I had to make,” said the 21 year-old. “I was already doing three hours of rehab a day, just to be able to go out and train.
“If I kept going the way I am, I could risk more damage to my hips and, as the seasons progressed, the rehabilitation would be lengthier and more intense. I don’t want a hip replacement before I’m 30.
“It was always going to be a shortened timescale after my operations last season, so it was in the back of my mind that my career wouldn’t last as long as I would have hoped.
“On occasions this year, I’ve been playing and training in pain. It’s frustrating because I have proved to myself this season that I can do it at this level. It’s just a shame that my body doesn’t match my hunger for the game.
“It’s always been in the back of my head, and I’ve tried to block it out. Being inside when the boys were training or playing was difficult, and it wasn’t making me a nice person. I didn’t want to fall out of love with a game that has been a huge part of my life.
“The Club have been excellent. The coaches have been really supportive. They respected my decision and the fact I was open with them.”
Already coaching Hornets, the powerful centre – who was awarded man-of-the-match in the victory over Bedford in October – hopes to remain in rugby.
He added: “I want to gain as much short-term coaching experience as I can. I’m going to help out with the Academy U15s and I hope to have my Level Three coaching badges by the time I’m 26.
“I’ll be a player-coach at Hornets and coaching at Weston College too. I’ve had a fantastic time at Bristol Rugby – it’s a great feeling to be part of a team that I have supported since I was nine years old.”