THE end of a professional career spanning 14 years may well be in sight but Dougie Hall has revealed his determination to enjoy a glorious last hurrah with Glasgow Warriors that is burnished in the glow of silverware.
The 34-year-old will retire at the end of the season after representing both Edinburgh and Glasgow while also collecting 42 Scotland caps at hooker and has already lined up a career in the financial sector.
Yet, although the veteran accepts that his opportunity to savour the remains of the day, starting with tomorrow’s visit of Cardiff, may be limited, his desperation to help Glasgow secure the home semi-final in the play-offs he sees as pivotal to a successful tilt at the Guinness Pro12 title, is palpable.
“It’s the last hurrah for me and each one of these final few games may be the last game of professional rugby I play. I may dip my toe into amateur rugby but I may not, so my last game for Glasgow may be it,” admitted Hall.
He added: “The last huddle, the last chance to walk out with the team together, it’s these moments I will miss and there is nothing that will replicate them for me. So yeah, selfishly it would be wonderful if we could win it. Of course I want to score the try on the wing that wins the Pro12, that would be wonderful and there is no point denying that is the goal. But we set our target at the beginning of the league that we wanted to win the Guinness and I believe we can and we will.
“Every year we get to this stage and we just have to win every game. Last year we saw how important it was to get the home semi-final, so it is vital we stay in the top two. But you know if you make it all the way then whoever it is in that final game it will be tremendously tough.”
While he accepts that his diminishing return in terms of game-time is down to the law of natural progression that has seen Pat MacArthur, Fraser Brown and Kevin Bryce all nudging him to the side in the competition for the No 2 jersey, Hall is sanguine about his marginalisation.
He said: “This year has not gone the way I would have envisaged.
“No player wants to be coming off the bench. You want to play every game, every minute but, as you get older, it’s the natural way of things, with young guys coming through.
“So I’m not happy with it but do I understand it? Of course. I would love to get on the field and contribute a bit more but we have a squad of 50 players and you only have 15 on the field at any one time so you are not going to play every minute.”
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