Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Lock's Injury Heartache Sticks Long in Memory

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Lock's Injury Heartache Sticks Long in Memory

Article excerpt

RARELY have so many big men been reduced to tears, as when popular Newcastle Falcons lock Jason Oakes announced six years ago he could carry on playing no longer.

Only two years into a dream career with the club he loved, the giant forward broke the news to team-mates in a speech from the heart which still resonates to this day.

Oakes said: "It was emotional standing in front of that group of lads and telling them it was over for me, but I wanted to do it that way.

"It was funny actually because I read an interview with Tim Swinson recently, who now plays for Scotland, and he mentioned that speech. It is nice that someone has remembered it. Rugby is a short career, and you don't realise that when you are young.

"You think you are invincible, and it was nice of Swinno to mention that. It meant a lot." Explaining the reason behind his retirement, he added: "It was my Achilles, and I have never played a game of rugby since. It had got to the point where I wasn't able to train during the week, and they were just getting me out on the pitch on a weekend without any training under my belt. …

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