Tom Piper has announced he will be retiring at the end of the season.
The 35-year-old joined up with Pontypool at the beginning of the season and has gone on to make 14 appearances, helping to win the WRU Championship Cup at the Principality Stadium last month.
The prop started his career at Caerphilly and moved onto Newport HSOB and Llanharan before making his name at Newport.
He amassed over 100 appearances for the Black and Ambers, scoring two tries, and has spoken of his pride at representing both Newport and Pontypool.
“The bulk of my time was with Newport,” he said.
“We got to the cup final but didn’t win that and that was one of the reasons why I wanted to play so much two weeks ago at the stadium.
“When we played in the cup final it was absolutely brilliant.
“I just stood there for five minutes thinking, this might not happen again.
“You’ve got to enjoy every game, even when you are a youngster.
“If you don’t enjoy it then it is going to be hard but I’ve never stopped enjoying it.
“Obviously getting 100 caps for Newport is a big thing for me because I’m a Newport lad.
“Playing for Pontypool is also a massive thing for me because I was here when I was 17-18 and I wasn’t quite ready.
“You always think you are at the time but looking back you understand why you wasn’t ready.
“Arguably Newport and Pontypool are the most historic clubs in the world of club rugby so I’m extremely proud to have played for both prestigious clubs.”
Having won the cup and sealed promotion, Piper is now targeting the perfect send off by clinching the league title.
“That is one of the reasons why I came to the club in the first place,” he said.
“A club like Pontypool deserves to be in the Premiership and they have proved it year after year that they should be there.
“It’s what the club deserves and I wanted to be a part of that.
“I could have sat out the rest of the season with my arm but I wanted to be a part of it and finish my career on a high.”
Taking the decision to hang his boots up has been a difficult decision but Piper is looking forward to spending time with his family when this season draws to a close.
“It’s the right time with work commitments and family, it’s getting a bit too much and this year has taken a lot out of me," revealed Piper, who has been thinking about retiring since Christmas.
“I’d like to spend a bit more time with my children and my wife. It was a hard decision but I think the time is right.
“My daughters are six and two so I just want to spend a bit more time with them while I’m still young.”
We’d like to thank Tom for his efforts in a Pontypool shirt and wish him well in retirement.