By Andrew Scott
VETERAN Aussie hooker Stephen Moore announced that he will retire from all forms of rugby after the Wallabies’ Autumn Tour on Saturday.
Moore had planned to play a final Super Rugby season with the Reds after initially announcing his international retirement in July this year.
But he has decided that the tour finale against Scotland will be the last time that he pulls on the famous golden jersey, calling time on a career of 15 years and more than 300 combined caps.
BT Murrayfield was always going to be the scene for his final bow, having gained his first cap for Australia against Scotland in Edinburgh. But Moore said that coaching opportunities allowed him to make the decision to retire a year earlier.
Speaking to rugby.com.au Moore said that: “The time feels right to finish my rugby career and I’m looking forward to watching the Reds develop under Brad’s guidance.
“I’d started planning for life after rugby since announcing my retirement from the international game back in July this year and the opportunity that I was exploring materialized probably six months earlier than I had expected.”
Moore will leave rugby with having the honour of captaining the national side and being the second most capped Super Rugby player in history.
The game on Saturday will provide a fitting farewell venue for Moore in front of a capacity 67,144 BT Murrayfield crowd. It will be the finale for both Scotland and Australia’s autumn tours.
Scotland and Australia head into the game both seeking a win to end their tours on a high, Scotland were narrowly beaten by New Zealand and Australia were well beaten by England last weekend.
Scotland head coach Gregor announced four changes to the Scotland team that faced the All Blacks last weekend. Sean Maitland, Simon Berghan, Grant Gilchrist and Ryan Wilson all start.
The last two meetings on British soil between the sides saw Scotland fall agonisingly short on each occasion, controversially in the 2015 Rugby World Cup Quarter Finals at Twickenham and then in 2016 at BT Murrayfield.
However, a change in fortunes for the Scots saw them victorious in Australia earlier in the summer. The Scots produced a stunning 24-19 victory in Sydney in Gregor Townsend’s first game as Scotland boss, their first victory there in four years.
The game is a potential classic with both sides looking to bounce back and with Australia out for revenge, a fitting finale to a Wallabies legend.