John Barclay announces retirement from international rugby

Former Scotland captain brings curtain down on a 76 Test career which stretches back to the 2007 Rugby World Cup

John Barclay has announced his retirement from international rugby. Image: Fotosport/David Gibson
John Barclay has announced his retirement from international rugby. Image: Fotosport/David Gibson

FORMER Scotland captain John Barclay has announced his international retirement, bringing the curtain down on a 76 Test career stretching back to his debut against New Zealand during the 2007 Rugby World Cup.

Barclay made the announcement on Instagram this morning, telling followers that –

“All good things must come to an end…. After much thought I have decided the time is right to step down from the international game. This isn’t an easy decision to make; playing for Scotland is the culmination of years of hard work and dedication and undoubtedly one the best things I will achieve in my life. But for me and my family it feels like the right time.

“It has truly been a privilege to wear the jersey. Not many people can say they got to live their boyhood dream, but I was lucky enough to have that honour and it is something I am unbelievably proud of.

“To my family and friends for supporting me all over the world, a big thank you. Most importantly though, thank you to my wife for her support looking after our growing family when I have been away and for dealing with the inevitable ups and downs associated with playing international rugby.

“Not the end of my rugby journey, but the end of one chapter. Thanks for the memories”

Barclay’s cap total would have been significantly higher if he hadn’t spent the best part of two years in the international wilderness between November 2013 and August 2015 after falling foul of former SRU Director of Rugby and interim Scotland team head coach Scott Johnson. Despite this, he will be remembered as one of the great Scotland back-rows of any era.

The 33-year-old’s current deal with Edinburgh runs out at the end of this season. He missed almost all of the 2018-19 season with a serious Achilles injury but returned to play for Scotland at the recent World Cup in Japan.

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About David Barnes 3288 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. An excellent player. I think that last injury was one too far, but don’t blame Toony for taking him to the RWC.

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