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.
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.
“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.”
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.