By Ali Stokes
After the news last season that Newcastle Falcon would be without experienced campaigners Scott Lawson, Rob Vickers and Ally Hogg following the trio's retirement, the club have today confirmed that 24-year-old prop Scott Wilson has been forced to hang up his boots.
While Lawson, Vickers and Hogg curtailed their playing careers once in their mid-thirties, Wilson's retirement comes following medical advice having failed to overcome a neck injury sustained during the Premiership semi-final against Exeter Chiefs last season. The Falcons tighthead was forced from the field at Sandy Park in the 28th minute last May.
Lawson has amassed 80 appearances for Newcastle Falcons and represented the England Saxons at just 20-years-old.
“Kingston Park Stadium is where I first started watching rugby, my uncle brought me down to watch the games and I used to stand on the North Terrace come rain, shine, hail or snow to watch the Falcons play. To then go on and be able to play for the team I love has been the biggest highlight, and I’ve got no regrets.
“I’m only 24 but having received a neck injury at Exeter in the Premiership semi-final in May, I have now been told by the doctor that I have to retire, which is obviously a huge blow.”
Newcastle's Director of Rugby Dean Richards pad tribute to Lawson, saying: “Scott is a much-loved character here and a hugely-talented rugby player, so it is an enormous shame for him to have to retire from the game at such a young age.
Despite the disappointing nature in which his career has been cut short, Wilson paid credit to the individuals he owed the most, saying: "There are so many people who have helped me along the way and it’s impossible to do all of them justice here, but throughout the academy and into the first team I have to say our academy manager Mark Laycock has been brilliant.
“He used to come up to Berwick to do sessions with me and go across to Sedbergh School, which is a fair old trek, but there have been so many people who have supported me in a load of different ways. All of the Falcons medical staff have been outstanding, the guys who are here and those who have moved on over the years, and I’d like to thank every single person who has played any part in helping me and sticking by me.
“One thing I do know is that I’ll always be a Newcastle Falcons fan, and I’ll be here in the stands at Kingston Park cheering on the lads like I used to do when I was a kid.
“I’ve loved my time at the Falcons, I thought of it as my club even before I started in the academy here and that will never change.”
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