OS JAMES SIMPSON-DANIEL (SH) FORCED TO RETIRE
OS James Simpson-Daniel (SH) and former England winger has been forced to retire due to an ankle injury last year.
James, 32, played for Gloucester after joining the club as a teenager straight from Sedbergh School, and went on to make around 250 starts across 14 seasons, scoring 118 tries. His doctor’s advice ends his career on 276 club appearances.
Dan Harrison, Deputy Headmaster and former Sedbergh School Football Club Coach, said: “We are very proud at Sedbergh for all that James has achieved in rugby since leaving us 15 years ago.
At school he was a tremendous talent and in his upper sixth destroyed defences regularly from fly-half. It has been fantastic to watch him continue in this manner at the highest level of rugby and we wish him all the best in his retirement.”
James is the second of four Simpson-Daniel boys to attend Sedbergh School. Some quotes from the Sedberghian magazine from his time here:
1996 Colts C1 XV ‘The fact that 32 of the 40 tries scored came from the outside centre, wings and full back is testimony to… the hands and judgments of James Simpson-Daniel – the most vertically challenged but also most clairvoyant of the inside centres on our circuit.”
In 1999 James was Vice-Captain of Rugby and in 2000, playing for the 1st XV against Stoneyhurst: “The half back combination of Richard Bean and James Simpson-Daniel was without equal, with the latter displaying sleight of hand and a range and variety of passes that dazzles spectators.’
In 2000 James went on to represent Yorkshire, Northern Division, England Schools (18 Group) and captained the Sedbergh National Schools Sevens Champion Squad. He moved to play for Gloucester RFU straight from School.
As a 19 year old, James played for England in an uncapped match against the Barbarians when he rounded Jonah Lomu to score a try, but he missed out on the 2003 World Cup because of a back injury and just failed to make the 2007 and 2011 tournaments. In 2007-8 Simpson-Daniel was voted Premiership Player of the Year.
He told The Gloucester Citizen: “That’s what I’ll miss the most. The roar as you exit the tunnel and run on to the pitch.”