JUST weeks after winning his 100th Scotland cap, Stuart Hogg has announced that he will retire from professional rugby after this autumn’s World Cup. The 30-year-old revealed his decision today on social media, saying:
“After RWC 2023, my professional rugby journey will end and I will be retiring from the game.
“As a young kid growing up in The Borders all I wanted to do was to play rugby for Scotland. I feel privileged to have represented my country on 100 occasions, play on 3 British & Irish Lions tours and represent some amazing clubs. I couldn’t have asked for any more.
“I’ve so many people to thank and I will get round to you all. First and foremost is my wife Gill, my parents, my brother and my kids. I’m so lucky and proud to have such a loving family that have supported me every step of the way.
“Rugby has allowed me to meet some incredible characters, make lifelong friends, travel the world and be part of some unbelievable experiences that I will cherish forever.
“Knowing what lies ahead, I have a real hunger to play the best, most enjoyable rugby of my career, finishing the season strongly with Exeter Chiefs before attacking the opportunity we, as a nation, have in France.
“After the tournament, a new career beckons and I will attack in the same manner as I play the game. I hope I have done you proud.”
Ross Ford is currently the most-capped Scottish male player, having made 110 appearances for the team. With four warm-up matches and then four pool games before the World Cup knockout stages, Hogg could get tantalisingly close to that total. But only if Scotland were to reach the final and he were selected for all those games – an implausible scenario on at least one count – would he end up with one cap more than Ford.
First capped in 2012 against Wales, Hogg made his 100th appearance in the defeat by Ireland earlier this month. Injury prevented him from playing in the win over Italy six days later.
Hogg has also made two Test appearances for the British & Irish Lions. Ford played in one Lions Test.