Jim Hamilton retires from international rugby

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JIM Hamilton has announced he is quitting Test rugby – 24 hours after missing out on a place in Scotland’s World Cup squad.

The 32-year-old Saracens lock forward made his decision to retire from the international game after learning he was not in the pool of 31 who will travel to the tournament in England.

Born in Swindon, Hamilton qualified to wear the thistle thanks to father James, a Scottish soldier. He was the 1000th player to win Scotland honours when he made his debut against Romania in November 2006 and went on to win 63 caps, including appearances at the 2007 and 2011 World Cups.

But the former Edinburgh, Gloucester, Leicester and Montpellier second-rower has now called time after failing to make Vern Cotter’s cut for this year’s competition. Confirming his decision on his Twitter account, Hamilton said: “Today is both a sad day and a day that I feel extremely proud to have had.

“For I announce my retirement from international rugby.

“Fifteen years ago from today I was on the bare bones of my arse. Never in a million Saturday afternoons did I think I would have represented this beautiful country of Scotland 63 times on the rugby field. I have loved every single moment of wearing the thistle and feel extremely humble to have done it for nine years.

Jim Hamilton takes on Australia during the Autumn Test series in November 2013. Picture: Ian Rutherford

Jim Hamilton takes on Australia during the Autumn Test series in November 2013. Picture: Ian Rutherford

“Thank you to my wife and children for supporting me along the way. Thank you to the Scottish supporters for making the matches so special.

“A huge thank you to Frank Hadden for giving me my first opportunity in 2006. And also to Dr James Robson and [physio] Stephen Mutch for patching me together so many times. Kit man John Pennycuick and team manager Gav Scott for keeping me grounded.

“Scottish rugby has not only given me an opportunity to play rugby at the highest level but has given me a platform to be a better man.

“I wish everyone involved with Scottish rugby all the best and I know consistent success is around the corner #63andout.”