Former Warrington Wolves hooker Jon Clarke to retire

Warrington Guardian: Former Wolves hooker Clarke to retire Former Wolves hooker Clarke to retire

FORMER Warrington Wolves Challenge Cup winner Jon Clarke has announced he will retire at the end of the season.

The current Widnes Vikings hooker was part of the Wolves side who beat Leeds Rhinos in the 2010 final at Wembley.

But Clarke, who made more than 200 appearances for Wolves, is hanging up his boots after three years with Vikings.

“I’ve done a decent stint in the game and I’ve got no regrets, I’ve virtually ticked every box I wanted to over my career,” he said.

The 35-year-old joins former teammate Michael Monaghan in finishing his playing career at the end of the year, and admits niggling injuries have been an issue for both.

“Injuries are not the be all and end all but they’re niggling and I keep getting the same type of injury,” he added.

“I think a little bit might be aged-related so that plays on your mind and you don’t recover as quick when you get to the back end of your career.

“Like myself and Monas, injuries take a little bit longer and it’s frustrating, so it’s a physical thing but a psychological thing and you keep getting a bit more dented each time.”

Clarke has made no decision over his future, but is well-placed after completing coaching and fitness qualifications.

“I’ve got all my qualifications and have loads of experience doing strength and conditioning,” he explained. “If I can do something in and around that that’d be great.

“After speaking to my family quite a bit I just thought now was the right time.”

Vikings boss Denis Betts praised the man he signed from Wolves three years ago.

“It’s really tough coming out of a team like Warrington playing Challenge Cups, to getting beat every week and having to adapt and cope with the mental side of that,” he said.

“He did that and then was the best player at the club last year and this year he just wants to see where the end is and get on with being the best player he can be until that point.

“He’s helped me build something and create something and I’m glad he chose to take that step out of Warrington and come here.”

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