The Worcester career that barely started, ended yesterday as Warriors centre Hal Luscombe announced his immediate retirement from professional rugby.
The former Wales international moved from Harlequins last summer on a two-year deal and as one of Mike Ruddock’s most high-profile signings of the off-season.
But his only campaign at Sixways was blighted by injury, first to his knee and then subsequent pulls and strains that prevented him from justifying his billing as a former Grand Slam winner.
He did not play at all until December and was in and out of a struggling team, in the end managing just six starts in nine appearances. His only try came in the European Challenge Cup match against Petrarca.
The South African born centre-cum-wing, who won 16 caps for his adopted country, moves on to pursue what the club describes as ‘different ambitions’.
He does so with the gratitude of director of rugby Mike Ruddock but more for his efforts in the scarlet of Wales than the blue of Worcester.
“Hal has been released from his contract in order for him to pursue different ambitions,” Ruddock confirmed.
“He is a terrific guy who has been a fantastic player for a number of years with Newport Gwent Dragons, Harlequins, Worcester and Wales.
“I would like to thank Hal for his service to the Warriors and I would like to pay tribute to his outstanding character and performances over the years, most notably as a member of the Wales Grand Slam winning team of 2005. I wish him every success in the future.”
Luscombe was also a regular during the 2006 RBS Six Nations, scoring his second international try in the match against France at the Millennium Stadium that concluded Wales’s 2005–2006 championship and gave France the title.
His place in Ruddock’s squad could be taken by one of four triallists, including Scotland A threequarter Calum MacRae.
The 29-year-old full back is training with Warriors and has greater pedigree than his rivals, former Coventry centres George Dixon and Ed Binham and Manchester’s England Counties man Pat Leach.