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The time has come for me to retire from professional rugby.
I have given this great game everything I have, and I feel I can no longer - give what is needed to play at this elite level.
Rugby has been a big part of my life for many years, never in my wildest dreams would I have envisaged the incredible journey it has taken me on.
I’ve had the privilege and honour to not only play, but captain my State, Country and Club (Harlequins) on a number of occasions over my 14-year career.
Winning the Super Rugby title with the Queensland Reds and being asked to captain my Country are just some of the moments I will look back on and cherish for a lifetime.
“I want to thank all the coaches and staff I’ve worked with over my career; you have all made an impact and shaped me into the player and person I am today.
“Special thanks must go to the physios, doctors and surgeons, who have put me back together. We probably spent more time together than we would have liked, but without your expertise and continued support, I wouldn’t have been able to play for as long as I have.
Mum, dad and family – you have always been my number 1 fans, travelled all over the world to watch me play – thank you so much for supporting my dreams and aspirations.
Most importantly, I want to thank my wife Lauren, and more recently my daughter Eva - you are my rock during this emotional rollercoaster that is professional rugby. I’m sure you are as ready for this break as I am.
To the fans all over the world, who have supported me throughout my career, thank you. My job wouldn’t have existed without you, you ARE what make this game so special. I will never be able to replicate the feeling I get from running out to a full stadium of support. It’s been my honour to represent you and a role I will forever miss.
Finally, to all the players I have had the pleasure to play with (and against) – you are why I have loved the past 14 years so much – we have made some unforgettable memories and I know I have friends for life.
I’m completely committed to leading Harlequins to success this season. Then I will turn my attention to the next chapter of my life.
James Horwill (Big Kev).
25 JUNE 2019