Ethan to call time on career as he gets set for 'poetic' ending with brother Alex

Ethan Waller admits it's 'quite poetic' that he and brother Alex will both retire at the end of this season.
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Alex's summer retirement was confirmed on Tuesday and Ethan’s announcement arrived this afternoon.

Ethan has racked up 124 appearances so far for Saints, scoring five tries along the way.

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The 31-year-old also amassed 118 appearances with Worcester Warriors during his five seasons at Sixways.

Ethan Waller (photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images)Ethan Waller (photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images)
Ethan Waller (photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images)

Waller has been Chair of the RPA since 2021, playing a key role in representing the interests of hundreds of current male and female professional rugby players in England.

But after 14 seasons, the loosehead prop believes now is the right time to hang up his boots.

And Ethan is hoping to sign off in style along with his sibling this season as Saints seek silverware on two fronts.

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“I never in my wildest dreams would have imagined that I would have been a professional athlete, so I’m really proud to have called this a job for over a decade,” he said.

“I’ve made some of the very best friends and memories from my career; I’ll never forget that incredible game away at Leinster in 2013, winning the Premiership Rugby Cup with Worcester, all the European away trips, and socials with the team-mates I get to call my friends.

“Rugby has given me everything I’ve ever wanted, and although I’m sad to call it a day, it’s the right time to do so. I moved back to Northampton for my family, and it feels fitting that the journey should end where it started.

“I want to thank both Northampton Saints and Worcester Warriors – two incredible clubs, with even better people behind the scenes. To get more than 100 caps for both teams is something I’ll cherish for the rest of my life.

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“Thanks also to the RPA, who have been an incredible organisation to work with and are such an important asset to the game. Thank you for being a safety net for all players and to all my colleagues throughout that time.

“My team-mates have made coming into work every day the best craic and made sure it’s never really felt like ‘work’.

"Fortunately for you, my rubbish chat and even worse music is hitting the road.

"Thank you boys, it’s been the most enjoyable period of my life and I’ll miss it dearly.

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"Special mention too to Chris Kemp and Nathan Allwork – you two have kept me ticking and able to compete to the best of my ability. You’re two brilliant men who are fantastic at your jobs.

“My friends have been with me since the day I started playing at 12 years old. Always the friendly faces in the crowd and sending me countless messages of love and support. Even when I moved across the country, you were still there and that speaks volumes of you all as people. There are too many to name, but you know who you are. My family – mum, Karl, dad, Debbie – you’ve done so much to support me throughout every step of my journey, and I owe you a huge debt of gratitude. I hope I did you all proud.

“Alex, it’s been a privilege to share our careers. I’m glad I got just as much chance to play against you, as I did with you. You’ve got more records than a radio station and you’ve earned every one. It’s quite poetic we get to finish together, and I’m looking forward to latching you into the sunset, hopefully with some silverware in hand.

“Finally, I want to thank my partner Kate and my daughter Eliza, you’ve been rocks through the rollercoaster of the last few years. I wouldn’t have made it without you. No matter what’s happened on the field, seeing you both at the final whistle always brings me right back down to earth. Your support means the world to me.

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“I remember sleeping on my brother’s floor back in 2010, anxious about what my future in rugby would hold. The time has flown by, and it’s been a damn good run – here’s hoping we can end this season on an all-time high with Saints.”

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