SAM Viggers is hanging up his rugby boots as a player and coach. Viggers has played for a plethora of clubs during his 24 years in the game. The former Gloucester, Coventry, Stroud, Painswick and Minchinhampton star sat down with Ashley Loveridge to look back on his long career.

AL: When did you cut your rugby teeth?

SV: I attended Archway School, playing regularly for the first-team and outside school playing for Painswick youth teams and going on to captain the winning side of the county cup. I played for the county in all age groups and then at Gloucester for the colts side and a few appearances for Gloucester United.

AL: What happened after you left Kingsholm?

SV: I started playing senior rugby for Stroud in 1998, a very tough league, which saw regular away games to Devon and Cornwall. We beat Penzance in the semi-final of the NPI Cup in front of a packed out Fromehall Park to play in the cup final at Twickenham.

AL: A move into the National League One with Coventry really kicked your career on, how was that experience?

SV: Yes, 1999 saw me sign for professional outfit Coventry RFC thanks to Dave "Spanner" Spencer, who got myself and my good friend Tim Payne a contract. The club were playing in the old National League One, which today is the second-tier Championship League. Coventry is a great traditional club that's produced many world class players and I was lucky enough to share half a season with the legend Zinzan Brooke when he had a spell at the club. I played for seven years in the Midlands and had spells at Stourbridge, Nuneaton, Birmingham Solihull and lastly at Rugby lions where I was also coaching Rugby School first team on the ground where the game first began.

AL: You also managed to play another two times on the hallowed turf of Twickenham, not many players can say that - it must of been a great time in your career ?

SV: It was. I played for Warwickshire and was lucky enough to reach two cup finals at Twickenham.

AL: What would you say was your standout moment in your long rugby career?

SV: I played for Ireland students Rugby League and then went on to play for Great Britain in the Ashes Tour to Australia. I played in South Africa for a three-month stint and on many representative tours around Europe, including a tour to Croatia with the Penguins international XV and testing the Oxford and Cambridge teams before their annual varsity match.

AL: And how have you enjoyed the latter part of your playing and coaching career with Stroud and Minch?

SV: I returned to Stroud as a player/coach for four seasons and helped the team gain promotion into the current league they play in now. It was great moving back to the club where I first played senior rugby and seeing some old faces that were still pulling the boots on and seeing the best singer of rugby songs ever - Jerry Perrins still going strong! Russ Hillier still propping up the Jacks bar freshly tanned from Paganhill and Archy still sweeping the changing room floors, makes the club something special and the memories will stick for a long time.

After this time I took on a new challenge, helping Minchinhampton start the growth of their first step on the ladder of having a head coach. This was into my second-year with them until a new job offer meant I had to make the tough decision to hang the boots up as I can no longer commit to training and matchdays all of the time. The set-up at Minchinhampton with teams from U6 all the way to the senior side without any gaps is quite impressive for the development of young players and I hope the commitment to senior rugby thrives so that the club can progress up the leagues in the future.

AL: What are you plans now?

SV: I have been playing or coaching senior rugby for 24 consecutive years and have enjoyed it all of the way - from playing in the professional era to grass routes rugby. I would like to thank all that have helped me in coaching and development of my rugby over the years. I've met some great people along the way and travelled the world with rugby, which has brought some great memories. I am planning to play in a few vets games and charity matches if and when the time allows.