Scotland prop Murray quits international rugby

Scotland’s most-capped prop Euan Murray has announced that he has decided to retire from playing international rugby with immediate effect ruling him out of contention for the world cup.

The 34-year-old brings down the curtain on an international career that began against Romania ten years ago, included the 2009 British and Irish Lions tour of South Africa and the 2008 Calcutta Cup victory over England, and ended with his record-breaking outing against Ireland in the final game of the 2015 RBS 6 Nations.

“I am extremely proud and grateful to have represented the people of Scotland at rugby for so long,” said Murray. .

“I will retire with many great memories of victories, tours, and friends, both in the playing squad and team management.

“My wife Sarah is due our third child in August and I have to be with my family as much as possible before and after the birth.

“Clearly, with the Rugby World Cup looming, the national squad will be training and playing throughout that period and I have too much respect for the national jersey to put myself forward in those circumstances.

“I’ve made this decision now after much deliberation and lengthy discussions with team management so that they can plan ahead accordingly.

“I’d like to take this opportunity to thank all the excellent coaches, world-class medical staff, supportive fans, friends, and, most of all, my family for helping to make my career possible.”

“I wish the Scotland men all the very best with this year’s Rugby World Cup and beyond.”

Murray remains in discussion with Glasgow Warriors on his future at club level, having re-joined the Guinness PRO12 leaders last year. He first played professional rugby with Glasgow from 2003-2007.

Scotland head coach Vern Cotter said: “I’d like to thank Euan for his hard work and application during my time as Scotland head coach.

“It’s also fitting to recognise Euan’s dedication over a ten year international career at the coalface of the Scotland forward pack.

“At his best Euan was a world-class tighthead prop. On behalf of the team and management I wish Euan and his family all the very best.”

Euan Alistair Murray was born in Glasgow and educated at Williamwood High School. He also represented East Renfrewshire and made his first steps in the club game with Glasgow Southern (now GHA) before he joined Glasgow Hawks.

He won Scotland under-18, under-19 and under-21 honours and toured Australia with the national team in 2004 before injury forced him to return home early.

He appeared in the non-cap game against the Barbarians at Pittodrie in 2005 – Scotland’s first win against the famous invitational club – and made his international debut off the bench against Romania later that year.

Murray was lauded for his strength on the tight-head of Scotland’s scrum but also, as his international career developed, for his contributions in open field, regularly featuring in top tier of the “tackles completed” statistics.

He scored his two international tries against France in Paris in 2007 and Ireland in a summer Test match at BT Murrayfield later that year.

The following month he played in his first Rugby World Cup, in France, and was again a mainstay of the Scotland squad in the 2011 tournament in New Zealand.

In 2008 he was named man of the match in Scotland’s narrow home defeat to South Africa, before being selected for the British and Irish Lions tour of South Africa though, sadly, an injury meant he could not compete for a Test place.

It was in 2010 that Murray, a committed Christian, announced that he would not be available to play on the Sabbath.

Three years later his consistency saw him become the 33rd Scotland player to reach the landmark of 50 or more caps, when he took to the field against England at Twickenham.

He then became Scotland’s most-capped prop of all time when he surpassed Allan Jacobsen’s haul of 65 caps with his 66th appearance against Ireland at BT Murrayfield back in March.

In his club career Murray also played for Northampton Saints, Newcastle Falcons, Agen and Worcester Warriors.

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