SCOTLAND women’s rugby captain Susie Brown is to retire completely from the game. Brown, who has 62 caps, is stepping away from rugby at the age of 32 after nine years as an international.
The flanker, who has been to two World Cups and captained her country for the last three seasons, says she made the decision to retire as long ago as last November.
“It wasn’t a decision I made lightly but one I came to after careful consideration when I tore my hamstring,” said Brown. “My body can no longer train at the level it takes to be an international player these days.”
Brown began playing rugby while at Boroughmuir High School in Edinburgh and continued at Glasgow University and Hillhead/Jordanhill before her job took her south of the border and to her current club, Richmond. She made her international debut against the USA in November 2004 at Murrayfield. She said: “It still rates as one of the highlights of my playing career.”
Other career highs include the 2006 Rugby World Cup in Canada and the 2009 FIRA tournament, where Scotland had to qualify for the 2010 Rugby World Cup. She also recalls beating France on a misty night at Lasswade in the 2010 Six Nations. “After the final whistle, climbed into the stand to celebrate with my beloved dad, who was my biggest supporter.”
Brown’s final match was last month’s 11-try victory over Sweden in Madrid, in which she scored the bonus-point fourth try. She added: “I’ve never been part of a team who wanted to play so much for each other as we did in that game – it was an incredible experience.”
Brown first captained Scotland on her 46th cap against Spain in a Madrid friendly in January 2011
Currently a deputy project manager at the Diabetes Trials Unit at the University of Oxford, Brown is taking a step back from rugby in the short term.
She said: “I want to give some time back to my partner and family after all the time I’ve spent training and playing over the last decade and I’d like to progress in my career.
“The amount of training and travelling I’ve done hasn’t really allowed for that of late. I would desperately love to stay involved in the sport in some capacity in the future.
“I plan to take a little time out to consider my options but I’ll be on the sidelines to cheer the squad on for the 2014 Six Nations.
“It’s been an incredible nine years and I want to thank everyone who has supported me over that time and enabled me to play the sport I love for the country I love.”
The SRU’s head of performance development, Stephen Gemmell said: “Susie has been a great ambassador for the game on and off the pitch.
“I was involved in coaching the women’s team when she was first capped and she has continued to show great enthusiasm for the club and international game throughout her career both in Scotland and south of the border.
“I wish her all the best in her future career and welcome her desire to stay involved in rugby.”
Away from the game, Brown ofetn runs 10k races for her favourite charity, the Parkinson’s Disease Society.