Ex-Saints flanker Ben Nutley announces retirement at Coventry

Coventry and ex-Northampton Saints flanker Ben Nutley has confirmed his retirement from rugby at the age of 29.

A member of Northampton’s team which lifted the Premiership and Challenge Cup trophies in 2013-14, academy graduate Nutley left the club he had made 81 appearances for before leaving for Coventry in 2018.

Explaining the reasoning behind his retirement before the age of 30, Nutley admitted lockdown had given him time to reflect on his career and what he wanted next.

“More than anything it’s not whether my body’s done or I’m not able to play, but I’ve reached my timeline with my career,” Nutley said.

“Covid put a lot into perspective and in a moment everything can change, and I always said that the day I wake up and don’t want to go into training is the day that it’s time for me to hang up the boots.

“A few years ago I would have said that I wanted to play until I can’t play any more.

“I’ve just had a little boy and I want to be able to pick him up or run around in the park with him.

“Physically I’ve got a lot more to give but mentally my mind had been made up.

“It’s the best job in the world, but it does take over everything you do for a long time.

“It’s been a massive part of my life but now it’s time to start a new chapter. Coaching with Luton is one of them, work’s another, and fatherhood’s another.”

“More than anything it’s not whether my body’s done or I’m not able to play, but I’ve reached my timeline with my career,” Nutley said.

“Covid put a lot into perspective and in a moment everything can change, and I always said that the day I wake up and don’t want to go into training is the day that it’s time for me to hang up the boots.

“A few years ago I would have said that I wanted to play until I can’t play any more.

“I’ve just had a little boy and I want to be able to pick him up or run around in the park with him.

“Physically I’ve got a lot more to give but mentally my mind had been made up.

“It’s the best job in the world, but it does take over everything you do for a long time.

“It’s been a massive part of my life but now it’s time to start a new chapter. Coaching with Luton is one of them, work’s another, and fatherhood’s another.”

Ben Nutley presented with a club shirt after playing his last match for Northampton Saints during the Aviva Premiership match between Northampton Saints and Worcester Warriors at Franklin’s Gardens on May 5, 2018. Tony Marshall/Getty Images

Coventry chief executive Nick Johnston worked closely with Nutley during his time as Saints’ performance director.

And Johnston says the flanker can be proud of what he achieved during his 11-year career.

“Ben put his body on the line whenever he played, right from getting a tooth knocked out on his Premiership debut as a teenager, and never let the team down,” Johnston said.


“He’s been a quality player throughout his career and was a pleasure to work with.

“It won’t surprise me if he goes on to be a good coach with Luton and I wish him all the best in his new career and with his family.”

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