Rugby: Japan Hooker Shota Horie to Retire at End of Season

REUTERS/Annegret Hilse
Rugby Union – Rugby World Cup 2019 – Pool A – Japan v Samoa – City of Toyota Stadium, Toyota, Japan – October 5, 2019 Japan’s Shota Horie reacts

Japan hooker Shota Horie said on Wednesday he will retire from the sport at the end of the local domestic season, bringing an end to a career that has spanned four World Cups.

Horie, who has 76 caps, played at the 2011, 2015, 2019 and 2023 World Cups and last appeared for Japan in a Pool D loss to Argentina at this year’s tournament in France.

The 37-year-old was part of the Brave Blossoms team that beat South Africa 34-32 at the 2015 World Cup in a match dubbed the ‘Brighton Miracle’, while he also played a part in their run to the quarter-finals at the 2019 tournament.

“I had a good rugby career. I realise that I have come this far thanks to the support of many people,” Horie told a press conference.

“About a year and a half ago, I thought I would retire after this season, regardless of whether the result of the World Cup (this autumn) was good or bad.”