Stan South Announces Retirement from Rugby
By: Alistair Kirsch-Poole
May 23, 2023 - 6:00pm
Old Glory lock and vice-captain Stan South announced the end of his rugby playing career earlier today. Only 26 years old, the Englishman suffered a season-ending injury in the first week that has now become a career-ending injury.
South first joined Old Glory in 2021, coming from several years playing in top flight European rugby. He started at Harlequins in the English Premiership, coming up through their academy system and debuting for their senior side in 2015. After four years there, he moved to the Exeter Chiefs for a year before leaving for CA Brive in France's Top 14. During COVID lockdown, he came to realize that he was dissatisfied with the way his rugby career was progressing and opted to join OGDC in 2021.
He had an immediate positive impact with the club, securing a starting spot and frequently playing 80 minutes every week. However, his first season was cut a month short when he suffered injuries to both knees that ended his season. He picked up where he left off in 2022, becoming a vocal leader on the struggling team. In 2023 he was named vice captain of the team, although he only held that post for a single week before a back injury sidelined him.
South was known for his strong work at lineouts, often disrupting and stealing opponents' lineouts. Since getting injured, he has taken on a new role with the team analyzing lineouts and preparing the players for upcoming matches. His natural step into coaching is another sign of the leadership he's shown throughout his career.
Where he goes from here remains to be seen, but South could absolutely continue a career in rugby if he chooses to. He has expressed an interest in staying in the US and he already coaches Penn State's rugby team in the off-season. Combined with his current lineout coaching duties, he could easily move into a full-time coaching career.
Stan South has been a key part of the team for the last few years and his retirement will be felt by the team. His absence this season has left a pretty big hole, necessitating Collin Grosse's move from flanker to lock and instigating the recruitment of Kyle Baillie.
For those interested in learning more about Stan South, here's the interview he gave us on the Glorious Rugby Podcast a few weeks ago (interview starts at 6:40).