Riddell to retire at end of season


Riddell to retire at end of season

​Scotland 7s star Scott Riddell will retire from professional rugby at the end of the current campaign.

An all-time great of Scottish rugby, Riddell will now transition to a full-time position as Scottish Rugby Coach Development Officer for the Caledonia Midlands region having undertaken the role on a part-time basis since July 2018.

The 33-year-old will hang up his boots following the final leg of the 2018/19 HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series in Paris this weekend, bringing to an end a decade-long career for Scotland’s most-capped sevens player.

Since making his debut in San Diego back in 2009, the Edinburgh-born Hooker has become a mainstay of the national sevens squad.

One of Scottish Rugby’s iconic leaders, this weekend’s tournament will mark his 74th appearance on the HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series, 25 clear of Colin Gregor in the Scotland all-time charts.

Riddell’s ten years with the international set-up has seen the squad go from strength-to-strength, in a decade where he has played at three Sevens Rugby World Cups in 2009, 2013 and 2017.

He will forever be linked with Scotland’s historic comeback victory over South Africa in the final of the 2016 London Sevens, helping his side to their first ever Cup victory on the HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series on his 50th appearance for his country.

Twelve months on, Riddell wrote his name into the history books, becoming a member of the first-ever Scotland squad to beat a New Zealand team in any form of the game in the quarter-final, on the way to Scotland retaining their Twickenham title.

Riddell scored the winning try in the final in front of his family in the crowd to claim a 12-7 victory over England.

An illustrious career has also seen him compete at three consecutive Commonwealth Games, making his debut at Delhi 2010.

Riddell was then one of the 12 players selected to represent Scotland at their first home Commonwealth Games in 28 years, running out at Ibrox as part of the Glasgow 2014 squad.

Four years later he led his country at Gold Coast 2018 after being named as captain by John Dalziel.

“It’s been some ten years,” he said.

“If you’d said to me when I first started that I’d play for Scotland for a decade, I wouldn’t have believed you. We’ve had a few good times and a few tough times but looking back on it all it’s been an amazing experience.

“The programme is night and day from when I made my debut. The detail we now go into with the coaches and the training structures we have are superb.

“There are so many special memories, from Hong Kong to playing in front of 45,000 incredibly loud fans at Ibrox at Glasgow 2014.

“To win our first ever cup in the manner we did in London and back that up the following year with a really talented and experienced group was outstanding.

“It’ll take a wee while for retirement to sink in but I have been so lucky to play for Scotland for as long as I have and I’ll walk off the pitch in Paris knowing I’ve given everything I can.”

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