Nate Hirayama Announces His Retirement
He ranks third in career scoring on the HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series and co-captained Canada at the recent Tokyo Olympics, where he also served as flag-bearer for his country along with Miranda Ayim for the opening ceremonies. He’s big-time sevens star Nate Hirayama, who at 33, has just announced his retirement.
The Canadian in a social media post on Wednesday reminisced about meeting Fiji player Waisale Serevi in Dubai during his first visit to the country for the Dubai Sevens. Full of obvious admiration for the star, Hirayama said he felt as if he was meeting Wayne Gretzky himself.
Hirayama also thanked his teammates and the game he says has given him “so much”. He said it had been an honour and a privilege to have worn Canada’s Maple Leaf on his chest and to have been in the position of competing against some of the best players in the world.
As for what the future holds, the star said he now looks forward to becoming a support structure for the next generation of players – both in Canada and around the world.
The 33-year-old made headlines for his country in sevens rugby. He collected a stunning 1,859 points on the World Series during his 15 years on the field – which performance included an incredible 147 tries. This puts him at number 15 for the world’s all-time try scorers – and in the number 1 position in his home country.
But Hirayama proved not only a beacon in the world of sevens rugby. He also won a stunning 23 caps playing 15s rugby for Canada. He played 6 international games for his country between 2008 and 2015, during which time he also played in a Rugby World Cup.
He proved a stalwart for the Canadian rugby program by sticking with it through tough times as well as easy sailing.
In the fall of 2018 Hirayama also led a player boycott which overhauled training conditions and player contract outcomes.
Hirayama said on Wednesday that now, looking back at 15 years playing for Canada at the highest level in his chosen sport, he feels nothing but gratitude. He said time had simply flown by, which now leaves him with only appreciation for his family and friends, his supporters, and the game that meant so much to him over the course of his career.