Fly half Gray calls it a day

FORMER England Sevens international Danny Gray has decided to call time on his playing career after a frustrating final season at Worcester Warriors.

The 30-year-old said he was hopeful of staking his claim for the number ten jersey after Andy Goode and Joe Carlisle left in the summer.

But even when fly halves Paul Warwick and Ignacio Mieres struggled to stamp their authority in the position, director of rugby Dean Ryan still failed to present Gray with an opportunity to press his case.

This led to the former Exeter Chiefs and Bristol stand-off agreeing to leave Warriors last month and Gray revealed to the Observer he has no intention of finding a new club.

“It is a shame that things ended like they did at Worcester,” he said. “I would have loved to have played a bit more this season and I felt like I could have offered something that perhaps Paul and Ignacio couldn’t.

“But Dean did not feel that way and I was aware of that from a very early stage, so I was not prepared to stay in that situation and we agreed mutually to part ways.

“For me there were two options at the end of this year which was either to retire or to have one more year. But I have chosen to retire because the enjoyment factor has decreased for me.

“I really wanted this to be a positive season because I knew that I had other things that I wanted to move into. I wanted to give it one last crack and give 100 per cent for Worcester. But those opportunities didn’t arrive for me and they weren’t ever going to arrive, so my ideas of retirement were just confirmed.”

Gray said he was proud of what he had achieved in his 12 years as a professional having helped Bristol and Exeter Chiefs achieve promotion to the Aviva Premiership before joining Warriors in 2011.

His career has also been blighted by injury, though, as he notably underwent two shoulder reconstructions in 2012 and Gray admitted he was now looking forward to the next chapter in his life.

“I don’t think I have got anything else to prove to myself or anyone else,” Gray added. “I wanted to make it a positive decision for myself and I felt this was a good time to do it as I wasn’t playing regularly.

“It is nice now to have a bit more time with the family and I am now transitioning into life after rugby, which is exciting.”