End of an era as Pritchard calls time on international career

James Pritchard in action for Bedford Blues
James Pritchard in action for Bedford Blues

After 61 caps, a record breaking 607 points - made up of 18 tries, 104 conversions and 103 penalties - and three Rugby World Cups, James Pritchard has announced his retirement from international rugby.

The Bedford Blues man represented Canada at World Cups in 2003, 2007 and 2011, but has decided that now is the right time to hang up his boots on the international stage.

“After 12 years of what I would like to describe as ‘living the dream’, I’ve finally come to the realisation that there comes a time to hang up those trusty kicking boots and call time on my international playing days,” Pritchard told the official Blues website.

“It’s never easy letting go of something you love and something that has played a major part in your life for so long. But like they say; all good things must come to an end.

“Of course if the fairy tale had gone to plan, I would have made this announcement in seven weeks’ time after walking off the pitch at the Leicester City Stadium having just played my last game for Canada against Romania in my fourth Rugby World Cup.

“But this is real life and missing out on selection has brought it a little sooner then expected. As much as I would have loved to have that fairy tale ending, we play a game that we all agree can be cruel at times, and this is the beauty of the game that we love.

“Although this is the end of my playing career for Canada, I look forward to what the future holds. I still have one more season playing with Bedford, as well as having an opportunity to now further my coaching career.

“Hopefully one day these new skills will see me back in Canada giving back to the rugby community that has so strongly supported me over the years.

“For now, I look forward to sitting back and being one of the many Canadian supporters that will be cheering our boys on come September 19 in their first game of the Rugby World Cup 2015.”