Rory Lawson to retire

Former Scotland scrum-half and captain Rory Lawson is to retire from all rugby with immediate effect.

Lawson (Newcastle Falcons), the 32-year-old son of former Scotland scrum-half and immediate SRU past president Alan Lawson, has been advised to retire on account of a chronic wrist injury.

The 31-times-capped product of Dollar Academy thus brings to an end a 14-year career in senior rugby which saw him represent Scotland at under-18, under-19, under-21, sevens, A and senior levels.

Joining the professional ranks with Edinburgh from Heriot’s – having relished league and cup success with the Goldenacre club – Lawson moved to Gloucester in 2006 and enjoyed six  seasons in the west country before his arrival at Kingston Park.

He told “In many ways I feel really lucky to have done something I love so much for this length of time.  I’m obviously gutted to no longer be able to play but the guidance I’ve received from Doug Campbell, a consultant hand and wrist surgeon with Spire Healthcare in Leeds, is that I need to bow out now.

“I’ve been fortunate enough to achieve a number of things I wanted to in my career and I’ll always look back on representing my country with huge pride.

“I’m also very grateful to the support I’ve had from my family, friends, coaches, team-mates and support staff over the years.”

Good win ratio as captain

Rory made his Scotland debut off the bench against Australia at Murrayfield in 2006 and his first stint as Scotland captain – when he replaced the injured Chris Cusiter – coincided with Scotland’s first win against the Wallabies in 27 years: the 9-8 success at Murrayfield in 2009.

Lawson captained Scotland on five occasions from the outset of a match and was victorious four times, including the 2010 victory over South Africa at Murrayfield.

He shared in the 2008 IRB Nations Cup triumph for Scotland A with his cousin, Jim Thompson, and as the grandson of the late Voice of Rugby, Bill McLaren, Rory embodied the values of the game which Bill espoused.

Rory’s great rival and friend, fellow former Scotland scrum-half Mike Blair, today led the tributes.  Blair said: “The first time I played against Rory was at school, Edinburgh Academy v Dollar Academy and I was told that my opposite number was the Scotland under-12 scrum-half!

“There wasn’t a Scotland under-12 team, but I suppose that was as good an indication as any of the esteem in which Rory was held.

“Since then we’ve followed similar career paths with Edinburgh and Scotland.  I’ve always admired Rory’s work ethic and the impressive skills-set that he brought to every game.  I wish him all the best in his retirement.”