SCOTLAND flanker Alasdair Strokosch has called time on his international career after winning his 47th and final cap at the Rugby World Cup.
Strokosch, 32, played in the pool win over the USA at Elland Road last month in what has turned out to be his swansong for the national side.
He will now concentrate on playing club rugby in the French second tier with Perpignan.
Scotland reached the World Cup quarter-finals in England where they lost narrowly to Australia and Strokosch believes the current squad have the potential to achieve “great things”.
“I’ve been lucky enough to fulfil my childhood dream of representing Scotland,” he said.
“Wearing the thistle has been the greatest honour and responsibility of my life outside of raising my children and I treasure every memory from my time with the squad.
“I believe that the group we have now are among the most talented that I’ve seen have the potential to achieve great things for Scottish rugby.”
Strokosch’s international career stretched over nine years, eight Six Nations championships and two World Cups.
The East Kilbride forward made his first full international appearance as a replacement against Australia in the 2006 Autumn Tests before earning his first of 35 starts against Ireland at Croke Park in 2008.
The Dublin outing was his first of 17 appearances in eight consecutive Six Nations championships – including the 2008 Calcutta Cup success. He also played in four Rugby World Cup matches, in 2011 and 2015.
He also enjoyed notable success as a Scotland tourist, starting both games in the 2008 series win over Argentina – Scotland’s first over southern-hemisphere opposition.
Scotland head coach Vern Cotter said: “On behalf of the Scotland squad and management I’d like to thank Alasdair for his commitment to the Scotland jersey over the past nine years.
“For almost a decade he has quietly gone about his business with exceptional professionalism, with a lot of the hard work put in – often in the less glamorous and combative areas of the park – going unseen.
“We wish him all the very best in the remaining days with Perpignan where I know he’s committed to doing everything he can to ensure their return to the Top 14 before finally hanging up his boots.”
• Australia lock Kane Douglas will undergo left knee surgery after scans confirmed he sustained a ruptured anterior cruciate ligament during the World Cup final against New Zealand.
Douglas injured his knee when he fell 15 minutes in to the decider and took no further part in the match. New Zealand won 34-17.
The Australian Rugby Union said that following the surgery, Douglas will continue his rehabilitation and return to play under the Queensland Reds’ medical and high performance staff. No time span was given.