Stuart Hogg to retire from rugby after World Cup

Scotland full-back announces his decision via social media

Stuart Hogg v France 2023
Stuart Hogg launches a counter-attack against France in last month's Six Nations match in Paris. Image: © Craig Watson

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.

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About Stuart Bathgate 1428 Articles
Stuart has been the rugby correspondent for both The Scotsman and The Herald, and was also The Scotsman’s chief sports writer for 14 years from 2000.


  1. Less talk about who else might retire, let’s stop and say a huge thank you to a magnificent player. Hugely talented, immensely skilled and an awesome competitor. He has created many many fabulous moments for Glasgow, Scotland and Exeter fans and the wider Rugby World. I hope in his final few months Hoggy sees some great things added to his impressive CV from his final games with Exeter and Scotland. Thank you.
    Thank you Hoggy, lets finish on a magnificent high.

  2. It’s Hogg’s self-belief that propelled him on- and a desire to win.
    Good luck to him.Boxers wouldn’t be asked to put their bodiesy through such a hammering week after week. Duty of care? Hmm!

  3. Hogg’s planned retirement does raise the question in my mind as to who else is likely to hang up their boots after the work cup. Finn Russell is only 3 months younger than Hogg but could do a Sexton if looked after and he wants to carry on. I fancy he might be up for another run-out with the Lions especially if he’s playing with a Scottish 12 and 13.

    In the 30+ bracket you have Rory Sutherland, Simon Berghan, WP Nel, Dave Cherry, Fraser Brown, George Turner, Grant Gilchrist, Richie Gray, Hamish Watson, Chris Harris and Mark Bennett. So there could be quite a few changes in the Scotland Squad coming up.

    • Id think most , if not all, of the players you have listed will hang up their international boots but some will continue at club level. I think we have good players to replace them all anyway.

      Id be disappoined if Russell did…as he hasn’t really shown signs of slowing down like Hogg or Watson…I think he has a few years left at the very top. He’ll likely get heavily used at Bath though..and so that may affect his decision.

      • A big challenge I can see for whoever is coach after the world cup is rebuilding the lineout. Potentially the top 3 hookers and 2 of our best locks could retire from international rugby. I think we have more options at lock but there is a great opportunity for Ashman or someone else to step up.

  4. Good luck to Stuart Hogg, who has been brilliant for both Glasgow and Scotland. Gave us some fantastic tries and been great for the Scottish game.

  5. The body doesn’t lie and the majority on this forum will have played the game and been in a similar situation where it just gets tougher and tougher to pull on the boots. Since the game went pro, Scotland have struggled to unearth world class players but Hoggy was one. His wonder try against England A 12 years ago at Netherdale set the scene. Capped at 19, Lion’s tours, twice 6 nations player of the tournament and so on.

    He’s not done yet and just imagine what a seismic achievement it would be for Scotland to get out of their world cup group. Bring on the grandstand finish.

  6. It would have been good to see him bow out from a game at Murrayfield, maybe even a Scotland v Barbarians game, but that might have been a bit emotional. Anyway its good he’s retiring on his own terms and has a plan for what he wants to do next.

  7. When people talk about his ego, I actually think it’s a sad reflection on Scottish fans. I love how much he backed himself from a young age, and, for the most part, backed it up with scarily good performances. I’ll take a star player who backs himself, over a rabbit in the headlights doubting themselves on the biggest stage, every day of the week.

    We hopefully can all remember, if not fondly, how awful our attack was when he burst onto the national stage. We suddenly had someone in our back line that on his day was unplayable.

    Based on achievements he’s the best Scotland player of the professional era by a considerable margin, even if Finn Russell might ultimately top that. I hope he can find some magic to topple one of the behemoths in our World Cup group, and bow out in style.

    Thank you Hoggy. Particularly for that Hoggy flip to Visser against France a few years back. Oh and that fry against Ireland where you dummied half of their team…

  8. A player who always a have his all. Not unique in that respect. A player not only respected but feared by every opponent at every level. We haven’t had many of those. A player who would have walked into any team anywhere. We have had only one like that, Stuart Hogg.
    Thanks and best wishes.

  9. Well played Hoggy, a top player who lit up our back line, its great your gonna retire on your own terms 👍🙂

  10. That’s true! Although I will miss his twitter outbursts when he’s had a beer or two.

  11. I understand the reasons, but it’s a real blow to hear this news. I felt he still had a good few years in him of proving that class is permananent and I was still hopeful that he might help get us to us a 6N Championship.

    I’m going to really miss watching him in a Scotland shirt. He’s been an absolute legend.

  12. Maybe top 10. At times weak in defence, too emotional and the ego occasionally got in the way of passing to a colleague in a better position to complete the move and score, but there exists no player who is perfect. A good patriotic servant.

      • Yes, were you ? Is that a Nom de Plume or your real name ? !
        A fair and reasonable personal opinion. We could argue all day about top 5 – Fin Calder, Chris Paterson, the Hastings, Ken Scotland, Mighty Mouse, John Rutherford, Ian Smith, Arthur Smith, Greig Laidlaw, John Jeffrey, Sandy Carmichael, Colin Deans and many others through the ages.

  13. He’s 18 years younger than me but Stuart Hogg will always be a hero of mine. He ushered in a new era of hope for Scottish Rugby fans and has no doubt felt the sting that comes from hope being dashed as much if not more than the rest of us. It’s his ability to pick himself up after defeat or injury and give his all for his club and country that make him a hero of mine, even more than his extraordinary gifts as a player do. He never stops competing and never stops believing. No one deserves to taste victory on the rugby pitch more than Hoggy does and I hope he gets to do exactly that when he runs out for whatever his final match will be in France.

  14. He was the shining light during some of our darkest years. I talismanic figure who deserves all the accolades he receives. I think it’s good timing, he has certainly not had the impact over the last couple of years and kinghorns chance now to claim the 15 jersey. Best of luck to hoggy in his retirement.

    • Normally I’d be distraught, but Hoggy sums it up pretty well – he can feel it in his own body that he’s only got so much more to give.
      So he can go out giving it his very all and before some might suggest his time has past.

  15. One of the X-Factor players we have that also made the neutral Scotland fans. I’d bet he’s inspired a lot of kids to play for Scotland. Glad to have enjoyed his skills on the pitch.

  16. I was surprised it was quite so soon but not entirely surprised it was going to come to an end in the near future. I dont think Hoggy has looked as happy in the last couple of years, he has been at it at test level since he was 18/19 and has given his all for Scotland. He will be 32 next year and has 3 or 4 kids so I am sure it is as much a family decision as anything else. The guy has been an absolute legend of Scottish and six nations rugby, he will be sadly missed. I think one thing that always stood about Hogg was just how much it meant for him to play for Scotland, his passion and pride were etched all over his face. At his peak circa 2015-2019 he was almost unplayable at times as an attacking force, two six nations player of the tournament awards back to back testify to that. Hoggy it has been a pleasure and a joy to watch you in both a Glasgow and a Scotland jersey and all the best for the future pal!

  17. Can’t really add anything to that Sonsie. Well said. Hoggy is a personal and National hero. Good luck to him.

  18. Absolute bombshell. Yet there was a time I might have been utterly devastated by this news, inconsolable even. The player understandably has different priorities in his life now and has lately been a shadow of his former gigantic self. In a Six Nations season when everyone has been raving about Scotland’s three-quarter line, no one has been talking about him as part of that conversation.

    The siege gun boot will however be missed and I fervently hope he will leave us with something memorable come the World Cup. If he finds the gears once again, imagine how unstoppable that Scottish attacking line is going to be.

    I wish Hoogy all the best and thank him for his great service to our nation – how he loved putting on that blue jersey. The man is a legend – and you don’t get 100 caps for your country without being something very special indeed.

  19. Rumour is he has a job lined up riding out most mornings for Ewan Whillans in Hawick .then riding as an amateur. .

  20. The right decision because he’s making it himself and we don’t have awkward optics of him being benched or dropped. Smith and BK will do just fine moving forward. Meanwhile we can reflect on an excellent career with some truly jaw dropping performances. It’s easy to forget how sterile our backline was before he exploded on the scene as a teenager (good job he wasn’t coming through in the current era he wouldn’t get a game til he was 29). Wish him all the best for whatever he hasibed up for the future. We don’t produce many properly world class players but he has certainly been that. At his very best he was incredible.

  21. Fantastic player in his prime and an incredible achievement to reach 100 caps.
    But his departure isn’t as seismic as it would have been a few years ago – step forward Ollie Smith..

  22. Top 5 scottish players of all time in my opinion. 2 six nations player of the years was an outstanding achievement. Always felt the decision to make him captain was a poor one as his ego and personality didnt suit it.

    • Maybe top 10. At times weak in defence, too emotional and the ego occasionally got in the way of passing to a colleague in a better position to complete the move and score, but there exists no player who is perfect. A good patriotic servant.


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