Peter Stringer will turn 40 years old before his six-month contract at Worcester Warriors ends. In what has been an illustrious and well-travelled career that has brought 98 caps for Ireland, a Six Nations Grand Slam, two European Cups and three Celtic Leagues on his way to becoming Munster’s most-capped player, he has long been one of the more recognised players in the game, no matter which side of the Irish Sea he is on.
With these accolades in the bag, it would be no surprise to see him call time on his playing days when Sale Sharks released him at the start of the summer. But he tells The Independent that retirement was never an option as far as he was concerned, and after embarking on the 20th pre-season programme of his career, he’s ready to put father time on hold for the rest of the year at least.
“I didn’t want to retire and I never thought I was going to retire,” says Stringer. “I suppose I was confident that in the time off I had in the summer I’d worked really hard training twice a day with my time off to maintain those fitness levels and keep things going hoping that an opportunity came up. Thankfully it did, but it didn’t really cross my mind.”
Stringer has two different motivations. The first, a new one to him, is how his rugby career affects his newly-expanded family. Stringer and his wife, Debbie, welcomed their first son Noah in April, and while Stringer was balancing the tasks of being a father along with finding a new club that offered a challenge that excited him, Worcester came calling.
Stringer is preparing for his 20th season in the top flight (Getty)
The second fulfilled the main criteria that has fuelled his desire to play at the top of the game for so long. Time and time again over the last six years, Stringer believes he has been written off because of his age, and it’s this combined with a quest to ensure he leaves the game with no regrets that means he will lay it all on the line once again when the…