Scotland star Stuart Hogg has announced his retirement from rugby.
The centurion had originally planned to retire after the upcoming World Cup but has now decided to hang up his boots with immediate effect.
He says the decision made following a period of reflection due to the strain on his body.
The 31-year-old former Glasgow Warriors and Exeter Chiefs full-back made history this year becoming the latest Scotland player to reach 100 caps, playing against Ireland.
He also entered the record books in 2021 when he became Scotland’s record try scorer, touching down for the 25th time, against Japan.
Hogg’s Scotland career began 11 years ago in February 2012 when he came off the bench against Wales having rose to prominence the week before with a memorable try for Scotland A against England Saxons.
The man from Hawick has represented Scotland at two World Cups whilst also captaining the side in back-to-back wins over England in 2021 and 2022 and as a historic victory against France in the Stade de France.
In his announcement on Sunday he said: “It is difficult where to start but with great sadness and an enormous amount of pride, I am announcing my immediate retirement from playing rugby.
“I fought with everything I had to make the Rugby World Cup but this time my body has not been able to do the things I wanted and needed it to do. We knew this day would come eventually, I just never thought it would be this soon.
“It’s hard to put into words just how much of an impact the game has had on my life. I will be retiring knowing that I have given my body and heart to rugby. I will be forever grateful to this amazing community and cannot wait to begin my journey as a proud supporter of the team.”
Gregor Townsend said: “Following Stuart’s news we would like to wish him all the best in his retirement. He has been an outstanding player for Scotland and has had a career lit up with so many achievements, highlights and special memories.
“I have had the pleasure of coaching Stuart for the majority of his career, and he was joy to work with and watch on the training field and in games. He had a love for so many aspects of the game, and not only got joy from taking on defenders with ball in hand but also putting his teammates into space. His basic skills and speed set him apart from other players, and it has been an amazing effort to play Test rugby for the past 11 years.”
“To reach 100 caps this year was fitting and just reward for a career that has seen him represent the British & Irish Lions and win trophies both domestically and at a European level.
“We respect his decision to step away now and understand the stresses and challenges his body has gone through in recent seasons. He has been an integral part of our squad for many years, as well as captaining the side to famous victories over England and France in 2021, and we all wish him well in his career post rugby. We look forward to welcoming him back to support us from the stands.”