Old Glory back rower Luke Campbell has announced his retirement from professional rugby. The 30-year-old Canadian international was originally confirmed to be returning for a third year with the team, but has since decided to retire.

Campbell's rugby career started in Victoria, British Columbia, where he played for the Barbs of Oak Bay Secondary, and continued as he played for the University of Victoria Vikes. While in university, he was selected to play in the Canadian u20 squad. After graduating, he played for the James Bay Athletic Association in the BC Premiership and was selected for the BC Bears provincial side.

In 2018, Campbell joined the Canadian senior national team, earning his first cap in a match against the US. A year later, he played in the 2019 World Cup in Japan. His professional career also started that year, as he signed with the Toronto Arrows for their inaugural season. He earned five caps with the team and scored a try.

Campbell first signed with Old Glory for the 2021 season. However, he played just 4 matches that year before a back injury ended his season early. After year of being unable to even practice, he was slowly eased back into the MLR in 2022. When Jamason Fa'anana-Schultz was suspended halfway through the year, though, Campbell stepped into the starting position with aplomb. He became an important part of the team, notable for his strong carries and physical play.

In the course of the 2022 season, he had 12 caps, 11 of them starts, for a total of 773 minutes. He was a reliable ball carrier, with his 97 carries were the fifth most on the team and his 10 offloads the second most of the forwards. He also ranked in the top five forwards for meters gained at 491. Defensively, he was very reliable, with his 91% tackle success rate tied for the best among players with a significant number of tackles, and his 13 dominant tackles were second most on the team.

Unfortunately, it is an injury sustained while on tour with Canada this fall that has caused Campbell to call time on his career. It is always unfortunate to see a player leave earlier than they want to due to injury, and that is especially true for someone like Campbell who was coming off the best year of his professional career.

Campbell is the second Canadian to retire at Old Glory, following Ciaran Hearn who hung up his boots in 2021. It potentially leaves just one returning member of the Canadian Embassy, as OGDC's canucks call themselves, on the 2023 roster, with Doug Fraser confirmed to be returning and the status of Jake Ilnicki unknown. US-eligible Canadian prop Cali Martinez will be joining however, so the Embassy will at least have multiple members.

Best of luck to Luke Campbell his future endeavors.


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