Cerys Hale Bows Out After Decade At The Sharp End For Wales

Cerys Hale Wales. (Photo by Bradley Collyer/PA Images via Getty Images)

Cerys Hale Bows Out After Decade At The Sharp End For Wales

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By Hannah Blackwell

Wales prop Cerys Hale has announced her retirement from all rugby following Wales’ recent Test match against Spain.

Hale, 31, will bring the curtain down on her international and club career after more than a decade playing first-class rugby in Wales and England.

The 49-times capped Welsh international was selected for the 2014 World Cup in France and played in two World Cups in 2017 in Ireland and 2022 in New Zealand.

Newport-born Hale will stay involved in rugby with her key role in Welsh regional rugby as Dragons Women’s Pathway Manager.

Hale was first called into the Wales squad for the 2014 Six Nations campaign but made her Wales debut as a replacement against Ireland in the 2016 tournament.

She was part of the Wales squad that played in the historic WXV1 tournament in New Zealand in 2023 and her final Test match for her country was against Australia in Auckland.

The tighthead prop started her career at Pontyclun RFC and played for the Dragons before switching to current English champions Gloucester-Hartpury in 2019.

Hale was part of the Gloucester-Hartpury PWR championship winning squad in England, winning the title back-to-back.

Hale said: “This was an easy decision after playing rugby at the highest level for most of my adult life and it is time to move on and dedicate my time to my role with the Dragons and developing the next generation of talent in Wales.

“Playing for my country has been an honour and to play in two World Cups is something I like back on with real pride. To see the game go from amateur to professional during my career has given me a real insight to how much the game has changed since I started playing for Newport High School Old Boys when I was 11.

“Women’s rugby in Wales is in a completely different place to when I started, with professional contract and with my role with the Dragons, I see how much talent there is out there now believing they can be a professional rugby player in Wales.

“Seeing the likes of Sisi and Gwenni P establish themselves in the national squad means I leave with the future in safe hands. Seeing them develop into the front-rowers they are and playing a small role in their development is something I am proud of.

“I have to thank my wife, my family, friends and teammates and coaches for their support down the years. You have been with me all the way and your support has been the reason I played for my country. Thank you.

“After falling in love with the game in the stands of Rodney Parade, it feels like a full circle moment to be hanging my boots up to go into a full time role with the Dragons.”

Ioan Cunningham, Wales head coach, said: “To be selected for three World Cups and to play in two is a real achievement for any international player. Cerys has been a regular in the Wales squad since I have been here and she knows what is expected of players at Test match level.

“To have someone with her experience passing on her knowledge to the next generation of players in Wales will be invaluable. We thank her for what she has done in the Wales jersey and wish her all the best in her new role.”

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