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Luke Hawker Insists Time Was Right To Step Away From Wales


By Hannah Blackwell

Luke Hawker has revealed the commitment required to play international hockey was behind his decision to retire from the international game.

The current Wales captain announced he was stepping away from the biggest stage after 12 years and 126 caps for his country.

Hawker will continue to play club hockey for Cardiff and Met in the Elite English National League but felt the time needed to devote to Test hockey was something he was no longer able to give.

The 33-year-old said: “It is at this point in my life as a person, player and professional that I feel I am no longer able to commit fully to leading a nation, to leading a group of high-quality hockey players and men through the rigors of preparation for, and performance in international competition.”

Hawker represented Wales at two Commonwealth Games, three European Championships and the 2023 Hockey World Cup.

“Leading the team onto the pitch, singing the anthem and playing in front of large crowds will live long in the memory,” he added.

It was special for me to have my parents present at Birmingham Commonwealth Games in 2022.

“That said, I am not sure I will find a substitute anywhere else in life for the deafening in-game roar of anticipation from the Indian crowd at Hockey World Cup.”

Wales head coach Danny Newcombe said: “Luke is a professional athlete who has consistently delivered and impacted our performances, a fantastic competitor who thrives if difficult movements and a brilliant leader who has inspired us all to be better.

“It is impossible to quantify the extraordinary contribution Luke has had on the senior men’s group on and off the pitch. It is without doubt that he has left the shirt in a better place.”



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