'Difficult decision but timing is right' – Wales’ Sioned Harries ends rugby career

Wales' Sioned Harries (middle) and Hong Kong's Rose Hopewell Fong during the 2017 Women's Rugby World Cup. Credit: PA Images

Wales international Sioned Harries is set to play her final match after announcing her retirement from rugby earlier this week.

The 34-year-old has won 78 caps and played in four World Cups, with her final test match being at the WXV1 tournament in 2023.

Harries’ farewell appearance will be for Welsh side Brython Thunder against Celtic Challenge opponents Gwalia Lightning in Llanelli on today (3 March).

Back-rower Harries first featured for Wales against Australia during the 2010 World Cup, and went on to score 28 test tries.

She also represented Wales in Commonwealth Games and World Series Sevens tournaments as well as captaining the Scarlets.

Wales' Sioned Harries during the Women's Rugby World Cup in 2022 pool A match at Northland Events Centre in Whangarei, New Zealand. Credit: PA Images

She said: "This was a difficult decision, but the timing is right for me.

"I wish to thank my family and friends, team-mates and coaches – past and present – and all the backroom staff, and even my opponents, for bringing the best out of me.

"To think when I started, playing rugby for Wales was a hobby and not validated or recognised by many.

"Now, it is professional contracts, playing in front of record crowds, with all the media and commercial interest that we could only have dreamt about when I started at Aberaeron RFC.

"There were times when playing for Wales was hard for all the wrong reasons. Now, it is hard for all the right reasons.

"Life isn’t always perfect, and if I was younger I would relish the opportunity young players now have to achieve their dreams.”

Wales head coach Ioan Cunningham added: “Sioned’s standing in the game is without question, and she has given so much to Wales and the jersey.

"To play in four World Cups is a stamp of her quality and determination and is a feat that won’t be matched by many players in the game.

"The commitment she has shown, combining her job as a full-time teacher and as an international player, underlines how much it meant to her to represent her country."

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