Canadian rugby veteran Connor Braid has announced his retirement.
The 31-year-old from Victoria joins sevens teammates Nate Hirayama and Conor Trainer in leaving the sport. All three were part of the Canadian squad that finished eighth at the recent Tokyo Olympics.
“I’ve decided to hang up the boots and call the career after Tokyo,” Braid wrote in a social media post. “To every coach and team who gave me a chance; thank you. This sport is such a good education to young athletes around values and respect. I don’t know another game like it in that way.
“Thank you to the fans and my opponents. It’s been an absolute pleasure to get to know you. To my teammates, I love you. My greatest joy, hands down, has been sharing the locker room, the stadium tunnel, and the pitch with you. I am so grateful for that. Thank you for being you.”
He also thanked his family for its “unwavering support.”
In addition to his sevens career, Braid won 26 caps for the Canadian 15s team between 2010 and 2018. He started at inside centre in a 23-18 loss to Italy in the 2015 Rugby World Cup, only to see his tournament end early when he suffered a broken jaw and concussion in the 14th minute.
Braid played professionally for Doncaster Knights, London Scottish and Worcester Warriors in England, and Glasgow Warriors in Scotland.
—The Canadian Press