Fraser Brown calls time on his playing career

With George Turner understood to be moving to Japan to play for Kobe Steelers next season, Glasgow Warriors are looking thin on the ground at hooker

Fraser Brown has announced his retirement from playing rugby. Image: © Craig Watson -
Fraser Brown has announced his retirement from playing rugby. Image: © Craig Watson -

FRASER BROWN has announced his retirement from playing rugby at the end of the current season, bringing the curtain down on a career which brought 61 caps for Scotland and 141 appearances for Glasgow Warriors since his debut in 2013.

The hooker, who will celebrate his 35th birthday in June, signed a year-long contract extension with Warriors last May, but has not played since injuring his knee whilst playing for the World XV just a few weeks after putting pen to paper on the deal.

With George Turner understood to be moving to Japan to play under former Warriors coach Dave Rennie at Kobe Steelers next season, Warriors are looking thin on the ground at hooker, with the free-scoring Johnny Matthews (67 appearances since his debut back in September 2019), being backed up the tyro pairing of Angus Fraser (11 appearances with two starts) and Gregor Hiddleston (seven appearances with two starts) as it stands.

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The longevity of Brown’s career is all the more impressive because it looked like his time as a pro player was over back in 2011 when he was released by Edinburgh after a series of serious injuries to his shoulder and neck had sidelined him for two years. He went back to work on the family farm near Biggar and kept his hand in at rugby playing for Heriot’s in the Premiership, ultimately persuading then Warriors head coach Gregor Townsend and assistant Shade Munro to offer him a contract ahead of the 2013-14 season.

A move into coaching seems the likely next step, with Brown cutting his teeth in charge of Watsonians Super Series side during the ongoing Sprint competition, having worked as an assistant with the club last year. He was also part of the coaching team for the first ever Glasgow Warriors women’s side which competed in the Celtic Challenge this season.

“When you have a serious injury like I did with an ACL at the end of your career, it is always going to be hard to come back from,” said Brown. “That probably made it a little easier to announce my retirement but it’s still a surreal and strange feeling.

“I’m hugely proud to have played so many times for Scotland during my career. To get one cap was great, but then my second one came against the All Blacks at Murrayfield which was such a special occasion.

“To reach 50 caps was a big moment as I had to deal with a lot of injuries throughout my career and to be part of the growth process of the team which has resulted in where they are now has been cool.

“To have played so many times for my country and have that consistency which allowed me to be around the national team for so long is something I’m proud of.

“Thanks to all the supporters who backed me and the squad throughout my career. The adrenaline boost they provided at certain moments during the games made such a difference. I look forward to joining them in backing the team from the stands.”

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About David Barnes 3956 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. Big Fras was the consummate forward. I see a big future as a coach for him…he carries himself well and is well thought of in the right circles.

  2. A great all rounder who embraced all that was good in the pro and amateur game.
    When he was farmed out by Glasgow Warriors to Aberdeen Grammar in the Premiership, he gave his all, bringing a breath of fresh air, as well as a case of beer for the team.
    A great servant to the game.

  3. A terrific career, with lots of highlights; a real treat to follow his career for his skill, endurance, and perseverance in the face of serious injuries. When you think of two of his contemporaries & how their careers went, you realise how thin the line is between opportunity and frustration: Finlay Gillies was his rival in the Academy and at Under 20 level and had to retire through injury after only about 20-25 games for Glasgow; and I seem to remember the highly promising Alex Blair, going with Fraser to Sale to try and resurrect his career after injury and never made it. Well done Fraser and thanks for the memories

  4. Always a highly committed player and always brought a hard edge to his play that others could try and emulate. OK there was always a sprinkling of daft penalties and a few wild line out throws but he is a hooker after all. Thanks for a great career.

  5. Sad to see a great career end on injury, although not unexpected, but as he said makes the decision easier – surely a forwards coaching career looms large?

    The news for me is Turner heading to Japan???

    • Yeah, was hoping to see him in Warriors colours again before he retired. Remember him touring with Scotland down in the rough end of Argentina a few years ago and he had a magnificent game, just tore up the pitch that day.
      Hiddlestone has looked decent when he’s played but we will need some senior cover to take some pressure off Mathews with Turner also heading off.

      • Glasgow could maybe consider bringing back James Malcolm or Grant Stewart, both of whom have been ripping it up recently in the super series.

        Good luck to Fraser Brown, always give his all and has been a great servant to Scottish rugby.

    • @Misterc
      Stewart has been training with Glasgow. I’d be happy to see him back full time, easily good enough.
      Malcolm can stay where he is. Consistently worst lineout thrower I’ve ever seen

      • @septic+9 I’ll admit to not seeing so much of Malcolm as much as I have Stewart over the years. I do think Stewart is a decent hooker who is at a good age and would do a good job for Glasgow.

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