Wales international retires to take up Premiership coaching role

Wales international retires to take up Premiership coaching role

Wales and Ospreys hooker Scott Baldwin has called time on his playing career and will take up a coaching role with Premiership side Newcastle Falcons.

The 37-Test cap hooker played 183 games for Ospreys and turned out for Harlequins and Worcester Warriors during a career that spanned over a decade.

Representing Wales and Ospreys

Earlier this year, Baldwin was recalled to the Wales squad during the Six Nations and earned a Test cap for the first time in six years.

However, he is now looking forward to the next stage of his career as he hangs up his playing boots to become Newcastle’s defence coach.

“It was an honour to represent and play for the Ospreys and Wales, and I’m incredibly grateful for the friendships, memories and experiences that will stay with me forever,” Baldwin told Ospreys’ official website.

“The opportunity to represent my country at rugby was a dream come true. However, every great adventure must come to an end, and it is time for me to retire and pursue the next phase of my life. I’ve been playing rugby for a long time, and going to the next level of my life is the right decision for me.”

The 34-year-old explained that the decision to end his playing career was not an easy one but added that he is looking forward to the challenge that awaits him. 

“It was tough to make the choice, but the time is right. It’s not an easy decision because playing rugby is my passion, but I feel it’s time to step back and focus on my coaching career,” he said.

“I would like to thank everyone that supported me throughout my rugby career, from my teammates, coaches, fans and most of all, my family. It was an honour to play for Bridgend, Ospreys, Harlequins, Worcester Warriors and represent my country. Thank you for everything.”

Once-in-a-lifetime opportunity

Baldwin spent last season coaching at home club Bridgend while he was playing for Ospreys and will join new head coach Alex Codling and assistants Micky Ward and Mark Laycock at Newcastle next season.

“Coaching is something I’ve been really interested in since 2017 when I started doing it at semi-pro level with Bridgend, and I just fell in love with that side of the game,” he told Newcastle’s official website.

“That’s grown more and more as time has gone on, and it’s a fascinating area in terms of the different styles of play and not just being one mould for everyone. It’s broadened my horizons while I’ve been combining it with playing, and I can’t wait to get started with Newcastle.

“It’s been tough in a way because I know I can still play at this level, but this felt like a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to start my professional coaching career.”

A word from the coaches

Ospreys head coach Toby Booth commented: “Scott approached us with a proposal which we discussed, and we agreed that the opportunity was best for him and his family.

“He has been an important figure in Welsh rugby for many years of his career, and his decision to retire marks the end of an era.

“As he moves on to the next stage of his career, we would like to take this time to thank Scott for his time at the Ospreys and wish him well in his new role.”

Newcastle coach Codling said: “I first met Scott when I was forwards coach at Harlequins, I enjoyed working him, and you could see straight away he was a top professional.

“He’s got a huge amount of experience from playing in the Premiership, URC and internationally over a number of years, and he’ll bring a wealth of knowledge to the role.

“During my own time working with Scott, you could see he was keen to make the transition from playing to coaching, and he was one of those guys who always seemed to think like a coach. I’m looking forward to integrating him into a fantastic group here and seeing the impact he will make for the Falcons.”

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