Bruce Flockhart decides to step away from rugby

Former Scotland Under-20s and Glasgow Warriors back-row says that struggling with injury throughout his career has taken its toll

Bruce Flockhart starred for Scotland at Under-20s level and joined Glasgow Warriors in 2018. Image: © Craig Watson -
Bruce Flockhart starred for Scotland at Under-20s level and joined Glasgow Warriors in 2018. Image: © Craig Watson -

BRUCE FLOCKHART has decided to step away from rugby. The former Glasgow Warriors back-row took an extended break from the game last October and has now hung up his boots altogether after a period of ill health.

“Frustratingly for me, countless injuries that started with my back in 2015 – prior to joining Glasgow – mean that it hasn’t always been plain sailing,” explained the 23-year-old. “Naturally, something like this takes its toll on a person mentally, which it has with me.

“This decision is about taking care of my mind and my body and exploring my options beyond rugby. From the experience that I have gained through my struggles, I now realise how important it is to be mentally flexible and to not put such heavy pressure on myself again. I’m taking each day as it comes, and I have ideas of what I want to do and will feel around those before I fully commit to my next hill climb.

“Most importantly, thank you to my girlfriend Jessica, and my family for all their support.”

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Glasgow Warriors Managing Director, Al Kellock, said: “Bruce has been a valued member of the Glasgow Warriors squad since arriving in 2018 and the club, players and staff, wish him all the very best for the future.

“Sharing why he has decided to step away from the game has taken courage and most importantly I am glad he leaves in good health.

“We look forward to inviting Bruce back to Scotstoun, along with our other leavers, once the pandemic allows.”

Mike Blair appointed head coach at Edinburgh

About David Barnes 3820 Articles
David has worked as a freelance rugby journalist since 2004 covering every level of the game in Scotland for publications including he Herald/Sunday Herald, The Sunday Times, The Telegraph, The Scotsman/Scotland on Sunday/Evening News, The Daily Record, The Daily Mail/Mail on Sunday and The Sun.


  1. Is there any particular reason as to why Bruce Flockhart’s mention of Dave Rennie’s words of advice to him about Mental Health has been omitted from this? My understanding is his words were an important factor in helping Bruce. I know for a fact there are young up and coming players who enjoy reading the offside line and it’s a pity that quote isn’t here as it could have been read by someone who needed to see it. I’m sure Bruce would have mentioned it in order to help others. He made a brave decision to talk about why he was leaving, I’m sorry to see his efforts have been brushed over.

    • here is what he said. Really is a shame that ToL could not bring itself to tell about the positive support. SRU bad.
      “I owe a lot to Dave Rennie, who would pull me aside for chats checking that I was coping ok. In the beginning, I didn’t want to admit that I was struggling because I viewed it as a sign of weakness, and I didn’t want it to count against me for selection.

      “The day that I finally admitted that I wasn’t coping, he told me something that helped me a lot. He said, “Mental health problems are like injuries so treat them as such. You get injured, you get the professional help from a physio to rehab the injury back to full strength. You have a mental health issue, you see a psychologist and rehab it back to full strength”.
      “Around that time, he had a psychologist come into Scotstoun – rather than out-with – because he wanted to show that it shouldn’t be something that you have to hide and feel ashamed about, I thought that was great.

      “The support that I have received from everyone within Scottish Rugby has far exceeded anything that I would have expected. I can’t stress how grateful I am. The boys have been great too, with many of them sharing their own personal stories with me and what has helped them.”

  2. Feel for him. Superb player when free of injury and with his work in contact area could have gone all the way. Glad he is however taking it in his stride. In general though it’s a worry that some many young pros are having to walk away from the sport especially with our policy of restricting access to the player development programme. Wish Bruce a the best for the future

    • Could you expand on your last point please? What’s the PDP and who is restricted from it? Thanks

  3. I hope things work out for Bruce.

    Pro sport is a tough gig. Rugby more than other sports.

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