PETE Horne has announced he is to retire from playing after 13 successful years with Glasgow and Scotland to take over as head coach of the Ayrshire Bulls. The inside centre has spent all of his career with the Warriors, and has long been one of the most respected players in the country because of his work ethic and painstaking professionalism. He will officially take over at Millbrae on New Year’s Day.
Now 32, Horne – elder brother of Glasgow scrum-half George – made his Scotland debut in 2013. He went on to win a total of 45 caps, and was part of the national squad at the Rugby World Cups of 2015 and 2019. He has made 182 appearances for Glasgow, having turned out for the team for the first time in March 2009.
“I feel incredibly fortunate to be retiring on my own terms, after a career with both Glasgow and Scotland that I’m immensely proud of,” he said. “Having spent many years playing under some of the very best coaches in the game, I have been inspired to follow in their footsteps and make the move into coaching myself.
“I know I’m so very lucky to have experienced all that I have, and to have done so playing alongside my childhood best friend and my little brother has been a dream come true. I have relished every moment of my 13 years and look back on it with only the happiest of memories and great pride.
“Thank you to all who have supported me on my journey so far – I will forever be grateful to each and every one of you. Here’s to the next chapter!”
The highlight of Horne’s time with Glasgow was the PRO12 final in 2015, when the Warriors beat Munster to become the first Scottish side to win a major title. Al Kellock was a team-mate of his back then and is now managing director at Scotstoun.
He said: “Pete’s journey through rugby has been an inspirational one – from winning the Schools Cup with Bell Baxter and his time at Howe of Fife, to all of the memorable moments he’s had in both a Glasgow and a Scotland shirt, his standards have never wavered from wanting to be the best.
“For any young kid growing up and wanting to play rugby, Pete is a perfect example of how to approach your rugby and how far you can go. He’s been a phenomenal team-mate and a phenomenal friend to so many at Glasgow Warriors.”
Current head coach Danny Wilson added his own tribute, emphasising both Horne’s loyalty and his value as a leader within the squad. “Having made over 180 appearances for Glasgow in 12 years at the club and representing his country, Pete has achieved a huge amount in the game,” he said. “It’s rare in the modern game that a player spends their whole career at one club and Pete’s passion and commitment to Glasgow Warriors should be celebrated.
“He’s been a key part of our leadership group for a number of years and will be missed by all at the club. His attention to detail in his preparation both on and off the pitch is outstanding and recently his work mentoring our younger players and helping ensure the team taking the field are fully prepared has been fantastic.
“Pete has been a great servant to this club and we wish him, his wife Kirsten and their children all the best for the future.”
The Bulls, who won the first ever Super6 title earlier this season when they beat the Southern Knights in the final, revealed yesterday that Horne successfully applied for the head coach’s job back in March. But because he wanted to go on playing for another few months, his old Warriors team-mate Pat MacArthur agreed to be head coach for the rest of the year, with Horne as his assistant.
Work commitments have prevented MacArthur from becoming a full-time coach, but he will still be involved with the team under its new leadership. Horne will become the third successive former Warrior to be coach at Ayr, Pete Murchie having preceded MacArthur in the role. Murchie is now one of Wilson’s assistant coaches at Scotstoun.