Allan Jacobsen, known throughout the game as Chunk, is retiring from international rugby.
The 34-year-old Edinburgh Rugby and Scotland loose-head prop announced his decision today and has thus rung down the curtain on a 10-year, 65 cap contribution to the national team.
“To play international rugby you have to be absolutely committed. You have to make sacrifices and do all the extra stuff in training and preparation to be right.
“I’ve always tried to do that throughout my career and playing for Scotland has meant the world to me.
“But the minute there is the possibility of it feeling like a chore . . . well, that’s the slippery slope for me and I would never want to do anything that would either devalue the Scotland jersey or anything that I’ve achieved,” Scotland’s most-capped prop told www.scottishrugby.org
Jacobsen, a product of Preston Lodge High School and the Preston Lodge club in Prestonpans, East Lothian, intends to continue playing for Edinburgh Rugby, the club that he first represented against ACT Brumbies back in 1997 and for whom he has made more than 250 appearances. “My focus now will be on doing everything I can to bring success to Edinburgh,” he added.
SRU President Alan Lawson said: “Chunk is one of the most popular characters in the game in Scotland. He plays with his heart on his sleeve and supporters have always been able to identify readily with him.
“He first played Test match rugby for Scotland against Canada in 2002 and he became Scotland’s most capped prop, surpassing the record of Tom Smith, against Wales earlier this year.
“On behalf of all Scotland supporters I thank Allan for his dedication and bravery in a Scotland jersey and wish him all the best as he continues to serve Edinburgh as a loyal club man.”
Scotland head coach Andy Robinson said: “Chunk has been a great servant of the Scotland team and on behalf of the team management I want to thank him for all his endeavours. I particularly admire how hard he worked to fight back from injury after the 2007 Rugby World Cup and the effort he put in to be our starting prop in all four games at last year’s World Cup in New Zealand.
“Chunk has often said that rugby has been good for him and his family and now that he wants to make his wife Gayle and daughter Maisie a bigger priority, then I’m sure all rugby people will support Chunk at this time and in the future.”
Edinburgh Rugby head coach Michael Bradley said: “We fully respect and empathise with Chunk’s decision to retire from international rugby.
“Having spoken with him it’s absolutely clear that he is 100% committed to the Edinburgh Rugby cause.
“He is a fans’ favourite and everyone involved in the club looks forward to seeing him back in the black and red of Edinburgh Rugby, starting with his involvement this Friday against Ospreys at Murrayfield.”
Prop. Born: 22.9.78 in Edinburgh. Height: 5ft 10in (1.78m). Weight: 17st 9lb (112kg).
Allan Frederick Jacobsen became Scotland’s most-capped prop when he surpassed the record held by British Lion Tom Smith as he won his 62nd cap against Wales at the Millennium Stadium earlier this year. Jacobsen was the 29th Scot to reach the milestone of 50 caps when he played in Scotland's 19-16 triumph against Samoa at Pittodrie Stadium, Aberdeen in November 2010. It rounded off a year when he was lauded by Scotland's scrummaging coach Massimo Cuttitta for the part he played in the 2010 summer tour victory in Argentina.
Jacobsen was his country’s loose-head prop in all 11 of Scotland’s 2008 internationals, and the sequence continued when he played against Wales, France, and Italy in the 2009 RBS Six Nations Championship – 14 in a row. Playing in all three of the Bank of Scotland Corporate Autumn Tests that year, meant he had appeared in 18 out of 20 internationals by the end of that sequence.
Allan made his first RBS Six Nations start against Italy in Rome in 2004 and followed that a week later by starting against France at Murrayfield. However, on the subsequent summer tour to Australia injury curtailed him to only two outings (against Queensland Reds and New South Wales Country), but he regained his starting place for that year’s Autumn Tests series. Allan made his first start in a Murrayfield international match when he played against Ireland in the RWC Countdown Test in September 2003.
Though omitted for the World Cup in Australia, he was subsequently called up to the Scotland in Australia as a replacement for the injured Gavin Kerr.
His 2003 international against Ireland was 15 months on from his previous cap on Scotland’s 2002 tour to North America. He was chosen at tight-head prop for that tour’s warm-up match against the Barbarians but had reverted to his customary position on the left of the scrum when he won his first cap. Allan played as a replacement in all eight of Scotland’s internationals in season 2006-2007, but he was back in the starting XV in the World Cup warm-up contest in which Scotland beat Ireland 31-21 at Murrayfield.
Misfortune struck when he damaged a leg on his World Cup debut during Scotland’s opening match against Portugal in St Etienne, and because of the injury he had to drop out of the squad. But he was back as loose head for all of Scotland’s matches in the 2008 RBS Six nations Championship, including the Calcutta Cup victory against England at Murrayfield, and later that year he continued in that role for the two Tests in Argentina.
Two years before his first cap he was at loose-head prop in three of Scotland’s matches on the 2000 tour of New Zealand.
A mobile ball-player, Allan was selected for the tour after a fine debut for Scotland A against their English counterparts at Goldenacre in April 2000, and he also represented Scotland in the non-cap games against the Barbarians at Murrayfield in 2000 and 2001 and scored a try against that renowned invitation team in the 2005 match in Aberdeen.
In season 2001-2002 he played for Scotland Development XV against Tonga and Scotland A against Argentina, New Zealand, England, Italy and Ireland, scoring two tries against the Pumas in the 40-35 victory, but he broke a hand bone in the game at Ravenhill, Belfast. In June 2006 he played in all three Scotland A matches in the Barclays Churchill Cup in Canada, taking his tally at that level to 17 games, and five months later he returned to the national squad, making replacement appearances in the Bank of Scotland Corporate international wins against Romania and the Pacific Islanders at Murrayfield.
Allan, a Preston Lodge High School former pupil and a product of the Preston Lodge club in Prestonpans, East Lothian, has played more than 250 games for Edinburgh, attaining the double-century in the Magners League game against Newport Gwent Dragons in September 2008. His Edinburgh debut was nearly 11 years earlier as a replacement against ACT Brumbies at Meggetland in November 1997. Previously he played age-group representative rugby for Edinburgh and was a graduate of the Scotland under-21 and under-18 teams.
65 caps. 2002 – C(r) USA. 2003 – I. 2004 – It F I A3 J A4 SA. 2005 – R Arg(r) Sam. 2006 – R(r) PI(r) A(r). 2007 – E(r) W(r) It(r) I1(r) F(r) I2 SA(r) RWC[Por]. 2008 – F W I E It Arg1 Arg2 NZ SA Can. 2009 – W F It Fj A Arg. 2010 – F(r) W(r) It E I Arg1 Arg2 NZ SA Sam. 2011 – F W I E It I2 RWC – [R G Arg E] 2012 – E W F I NZ (r).