SCOTLAND and Bristol back-row forward Ross Rennie today announced that he is to retire from professional rugby due to injury.
Widely considered an outstanding openside flanker, 28-year-old Rennie came through the ranks at Edinburgh Academy and Stewart’s Melville FP, and represented Edinburgh 91 times in nine seasons before joining former Scotland head coach Andy Robinson at Bristol in January last year.
He went on to make thirteen appearances for the club, scoring seven tries, but suffered an injury in October that has kept him sidelined, and subsequently led to today’s decision.
Rennie said: “I feel very privileged to have been a professional rugby player and will take away some great memories from playing the game.
“Obviously it’s disappointing to stop playing the game that I love. However, I feel very fortunate that the sport has given me the opportunity to travel the world, meet new people and represent my country – something that I’m immensely proud of.
“I would like to thank everybody who has had an influence during my career: players, fans, strength and conditioning coaches, rugby coaches, and all the medical staff who have been brilliant.
“Lastly, I would like to thank my family for being incredibly supportive throughout my time playing rugby.”
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Rennie made his Scotland debut as a replacement against Ireland at Croke Park in February 2008, just three weeks after he scored a try in his first Scotland A match – the 37-15 win against Italy A at Moglianod.
Unfortunately injury meant it was two years until he was able to return to the national team, and he made his home debut in the autumn of 2010 against New Zealand.
Four replacement appearances followed until his first start for his country in the 10-6 win over Ireland at BT Murrayfield in the summer of 2011.
A replacement outing against Italy came a fortnight later with his performances securing him a place in the Scotland squad for the 2011 Rugby World Cup in New Zealand.
Arguably Rennie’s best year in the dark blue then came in 2012, when he reached the 20-cap mark with a starting spot in the next nine consecutive Scotland games, collecting the RBS 6 Nations Man of the Match award in the 17-23 defeat to France.
Unfortunately injury prevented Rennie being available to current Scotland head coach Vern Cotter, who expressed his sympathies and best wishes for the player.
“Ross has been a fantastic player for Scotland over the years so it’s very disappointing for him and us that he has been forced into early retirement,” said Cotter.
“On behalf of the national team and Scottish Rugby we wish him all the very best as he takes on the next chapter of his life.”
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