Former Scotland clubs’ and age-group internationalist Marc Teague, of Heriot’s, has announced his retirement from rugby after suffering a recurrence of a long standing shoulder injury.
The 31-year-old has been one of the most prolific try scorers in Premiership history but his “innings” closed on 134 during Saturday’s runaway victory over Lasswade in the Edinburgh Regional Cup.
It was his ability to sniff out tries that made him Scottish “club player of the year” in 2008 and persuaded Andy Robinson, then Edinburgh coach, to give him a short term professional contract which led to an appearance away to Scarlets in the Celtic League.
Winger Teague, however, never got the break that sometimes comes with a player in the same position picking up a knock that opens the door. He made clear, though, that he has hung up his boots with absolutely no regrets and many fond memories.
“I count myself very fortunate to have met some really great people at the same time as being able to travel to places like Las Vegas, Dubai and Wellington with the Scotland sevens squad and represent the under-19s.
“I had surgery on my shoulder which kept me out for 18 months and returned to the Heriot’s team this season playing in all except a couple of games. Unfortunately, the shoulder popped out of its socket again at the weekend and what really upset me was not being able to pick up my one-year-old son, Lucas, afterwards. That set me thinking I didn’t want to go through any more pain and rehab.”
Teague, whose club international appearance came against Ireland in 2009, is one of a select group who represented the Heriot’s senior side while still at school where his talent was noticed by Cardiff.
“There was an opportunity to go to Wales very early but by staying home I eventually made it into the Edinburgh team – unfortunately at the wrong time. When I signed there were 46 players in the squad and I was never going to get a good run. Most of my career highlights came with a Heriot’s team I was privileged to captain and I was part of the Scottish Cup teams, beating Melrose and Watsonians, in finals. Also it was a thrill to play in a Melrose Sevens final for Heriot’s.
“When I came into the Heriot’s team the likes of Rory Lawson, Gordon Ross and Hugh Gilmour, all future caps, were playing and that was a great way to learn.”
Heriot’s are believed to have identified an off-field role for Teague whose property firm, MNM, were recently recognised in the UK Property awards for the mixed development of the year.
Meanwhile, former Heriot’s coach Bob McKillop paid tribute when he said: “Marc embodied everything that is good about Heriot’s where I enjoyed coaching for five years. Marc is passionate about rugby and the club. He was a fantastic senior player during my stint as coach.
“I’m gutted things didn’t work out better for him in the pro ranks as he was a natural try-scorer blessed with fantastic footwork. Marc was also a pocket battleship type who was 100 per cent committed which maybe goes a long way to explaining the career ending injury.”