Andy Hazell is Gloucester born and bred and a one club man and it’s going to stay that way as the openside flanker has agreed a new deal to stay at Kingsholm. The longest serving member of the Gloucester Rugby squad, Hazell has enjoyed a glittering club career as well as winning seven caps for England.
Originally signed for the club by Richard Hill, Hazell quickly impressed with his skill set and work ethic and made his club debut in the 1997-8 season. 13 seasons and well over 200 club appearances later, the fires within are burning just as brightly as ever and Hazell continues to ply his trade in fine style at the highest level. The 32 year old, who enjoyed a testimonial season in 2008-9, told the club website that there were other offers on the table but that Gloucester is where he wants to be.
Hazell said: “I did have some quite good offers from abroad which were quite lucrative but, at the end of the day I always wanted to stay. When other offers come in, it can be very flattering. But, in my heart of hearts, I always wanted to remain at Gloucester. I’m happy here, my family is happy here and that means a lot. I’ve got all my family around me and that’s incredibly important.” “I’ve been here at Gloucester for 12 years now and I want to spend my whole career here so I’m delighted that we’ve agreed terms. The club and the fans have been good to me and I’ve always tried to do my best for them. Each week I train and play as though it’s my first at the club.”
“That enthusiasm and love for the game of rugby are evident to anyone who watches him train and play matches and he admits that he’s loving life at Gloucester just as much as ever. “I’m really enjoying going in every day to train with the way the club is at the minute. We’ve got a really good bunch of lads and there’s a really good feeling about the place at the minute, probably the best I’ve known in my twelve years at the club really. This year has been a really enjoyable one for me. Last year I didn’t play so much but this time around I’m enjoying my training and the coaching I’m getting and being around the lads.”
“There’s nothing to be unhappy about. The final few months of a contract can be a nervous time for any player and Hazell admitted that he was delighted to have his personal situation resolved. It’s a massive weight off my mind to get it all sorted. The longer it goes on, the more you fret about it and I just wanted to get it done. It’s a relief to get it out of the way and now I can concentrate on nothing but the rugby. We’ve still got a lot to play for this season. It’s a cliché but we are just looking at each game as it comes and want to be in the reckoning come the end of the season.”