Jim Thompson ends playing career due to knee injury

FORMER Scotland squad member and “A” international Jim Thompson has announced his retirement from professional rugby due to a knee injury, and is returning to Edinburgh in the hope of pursuing a coaching career.

The 30-year-old joined London Scottish in the summer of 2012 from Edinburgh and made a total of 51 appearances in his first two seasons wth the Exiles, but wasn’t able to add to his tally this season after suffering an ­injury to his right knee before the start of the campaign.

Educated at Stewart’s-Melville and Dollar, Thompson played club rugby for Heriot’s before joining Edinburgh. During his successful eight-year spell in the professional ranks, Thompson won ten Scotland A caps, scoring a try on his debut against Argentina in the Churchill Cup. He also competed for Scotland at ­Sevens, playing in 16 tournaments ­including two World Cups and was also included in full Scotland squads.

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Before his move to London Scottish, his final act in Edinburgh colours was to score a try against Ulster in their 2012 European Cup semi-final clash at the Aviva Stadium.

Thompson said: “I was desperate to get back fit having worked hard with the performance team this season but my knees are just not up to it. At Christmas I talked things through with my family and then decided in the new year to call it a day.

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“I am lucky to have played professional rugby for eight years and loved every minute at London Scottish. It’s a club which is on the up. We are on target to finish in the top four this season and I look forward to seeing the club progressing. I am moving back home to Edinburgh with my family and hoping to stay in rugby in a coaching capacity. When you are a professional rugby player for so long, you pick up a lot of information and I feel I can give plenty back to the game. But I owe a lot to London Scottish and I will ­certainly return to support them in the future.”

London Scottish director of rugby, Mike Friday, said: “Jim has not only been a fantastic player for London Scottish but also a great character who entertained us on the pitch with his raking runs and hammer of a left boot from full-back and off it with his great sense of humour. It is ­unfortunate he has had to call time on his rugby career, but Jim can look back with pride at what he has achieved.”

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London Scottish chairman, Sir David Reid, added: “Jim was a model professional both on and off the pitch. The club wish him well as he pursues a new career in coaching.”

Thompson is the son of veteran racing pundit Derek “Thommo” Thompson and the grandson of legendary rugby commentator, the late Bill McLaren.