RUARIDH JACKSON has announced his retirement from playing rugby at the end of the currently locked-down 2019-20 season, bringing the curtain down on a 14 year career in and around the professional game with Glasgow Warriors (twice), Wasps and Harlequins, during which time he picked up 33 caps for Scotland.
Jackson initially came to prominence as a stand-off, but converted to full-back when he returned to Scotstoun for his second spell with the Warriors in 2017, with his performances in the No 15 jersey during the the subsequent campaign earning him the Player’s Player of the Season award.
In all, the 32-year-old has played 163 games for Warriors to date since his debut against GRAN Parma back in 2006, scoring 499 points along the way, which puts him fifth in the club’s all-time top scorer chart.
“It is not the fairytale ending I may have dreamt about, but I want to say a huge thank you to everyone who has been part of my 14-year [career],” he said. “I have achieved more than I could ever have dreamed of, but it is now time to embrace a new challenge.
“I have been so fortunate to live out my childhood dream of playing rugby not just professionally but for my country. It has been a journey that has allowed me to travel the world, make some incredible friends and without doubt has given me some of the happiest days of my life. I have played at some amazing clubs, Wasps, Harlequins and, of course, two stints at Glasgow Warriors, which will always hold a special place in my heart. The supporters at all these clubs have been immense and will be one of the things I will miss most.
“There are many people that have helped me along the way, from school and mini rugby coaches, Sean Lineen helping me sign my first pro contract, the other coaches, medical teams, back room staff that I have worked with throughout the years. The team at Red Sky Management that have been through it all with me and been a major part in shaping my career on and off the field. My family who have been without doubt my biggest and best supporters. Your support has meant everything. My wife, Kirstin; I could not have shared it all with a better sidekick, along with my family you have been my biggest source of strength and laughs throughout the dark times and the good!
“Throughout my playing career I have learnt a lot about how to improve my performance and the importance to me of teamwork, accountability, communication and thriving under pressure. Within team culture there is an emphasis placed on the value of relationships and this, along with hard work will always be the foundation of how I move forward as well as understanding that it’s important to be true to myself every single day.
“As I look towards a potential new career in the drinks industry, building on my experiences over the last few years co-founding Garden Shed Drinks, I will take all these learnings with me. It has been one hell of a ride!”
Glasgow Warriors head coach Dave Rennie paid tribute to the player and the man. “While most of his footy had been played at 10 historically, his impact at full-back for us over the past three seasons was impressive,” said the New Zealander.
“He led our Creck, a group dedicated to driving our counter-attack, turnover and exit policies, where his composure and innovation created opportunities to attack from deep, whilst his ability to kick well off either foot was a real strength.
“An environmentally and community minded individual, Jacko has been a great role model for our squad regarding planning for life beyond rugby. Ruaridh is a top man whose contribution to our club has been immense.
“We wish Ruaridh, Kirstin and their expected arrival all the best for the next stage in their lives.”