Old Oakhamian and Leicester Tigers player Matt Smith has announced his retirement from professional rugby at the end of the season after a 14 year career, which saw him amass 227 appearances and score 30 tries for the club. He played in winning Premiership Finals in 2009, 2010 and 2013, and was part of the squads that won the Anglo-Welsh Cup in 2012 and 2017.
Matt Smith joined the Tigers Junior Academy at U16 level and represented Oakham School in their 2003 Daily Mail Cup Final win at Twickenham. He is the son of former Tigers flanker, skipper and coach Ian "Dosser" Smith, who is currently Director of Coaching at Oakham School and the pair achieved the milestones of becoming the first father-and-son combination to both make 100 and 200 appearances for Leicester Tigers.
Director of Sport, Mr Iain Simpson, said, “It has been brilliant to see Matt develop into a player who would ultimately go on to represent his premiership club over 200 times. He has delivered some big performances in the Tigers jersey over the years and he can be proud of his playing career. He is also a massive inspiration to budding Oakham rugby players wanting to turn pro one day.”
Matt’s next stage of his career will be as Tigers Academy Head Coach for the 2019/20 season, a role that he has recently accepted.
Iain continues, “I know that Matt has the skills and personality to be a success in his new role as Academy Head Coach, especially having been through the Academy himself and wanting his club to succeed. We all wish him all the very best.”
Oakham has a long and successful association with Leicester Tigers Academy and many of our players have gone on to win professional contracts with the club.