Tommy Seymour, Scotland’s fourth-highest tryscorer, has become the second member of the Rugby World Cup squad to call time on his international career.
A week after former captain John Barclay announced his retirement from Test rugby, the 31-year-old Glasgow
Warriors wing, who can also operate at full-back, has followed suit.
In a six-year Scotland career, Seymour won 55 caps and scored 20 tries for his country, behind only joint leaders Ian Smith and Tony Stanger (24 tries apiece) and Chris Paterson (21) on the all-time list.
Like Barclay, Seymour made the announcement on social media and said: “Today I’d like to announce my decision to retire from international rugby. Playing for Scotland has been the greatest honour. The pride from wearing the thistle on my chest is one of the most powerful feelings I’ve experienced.
“It was in every way a dream come true and an amazing journey to share with friends, family and Scotland supporters. I have been fortunate enough to play with some of the greatest players this country has ever produced and even more fortunate that, in some, I have found friends for life.
“To my loving wife Katy, who held the fort through my many days and months away from home, thank you for being my rock through all the ups and downs that come with playing international sport.”
A man with an eclectic back story, Seymour was born in Nashville, Tennessee, and was capped at youth level by Ireland after growing up in Belfast and starting his career with Ulster. He joined Glasgow in 2011 and, qualifying through his Scottish mother Sue, won his first cap against South Africa on the summer tour two years later.
Scotland head coach Gregor Townsend said: “Tommy can reflect on an excellent international career. He has one of the best try-scoring rates for Scotland. To earn 55 caps in a six-year period is testament to not only his all-round rugby ability but also his consistency in the blue jersey.
“His game was very well suited to the demands of Test rugby, as he had a high work-rate, world-class aerial skills and a very good awareness of when to get on to ball. When he got the opportunity to play regularly – first at Glasgow and then with Scotland – he went from strength to strength, adding elements to his game each season.
“He’s been fantastic to work with and always gave everything for Scotland. We wish him well for the rest of his playing career with Glasgow.”
A brace against Japan in his third cap at Murrayfield in 2013 got Seymour off the mark and his 20th and final Test try coming during the World Cup pool-stage win over Russia in Shizuoka in October.
The retirement of Seymour and Barclay leaves Townsend without two of his most experienced players ahead of the 2020 Six Nations, which starts with a trip to Ireland at the start of February, as the national team rebuilds following the disappointment of failing to progress beyond the group stage of the World Cup.
A hat-trick against Fiji in November 2018 appeared to put Seymour on course to break the Smith-Stanger record but he finishes up four short. Full-back Stuart Hogg, who sits one behind Seymour on the all-time list with 19 tries, is now best placed to beat the record.
Seymour signed a one-year contract extension last December to keep him at Scotstoun until the end of the season and has played a number of times in the No 15 jersey this season following Hogg’s move to Exeter Chiefs.
Seymour’s departure will provide opportunities for others on the wing for Scotland. Darcy Graham, the 22-year-old Edinburgh player, is a raw and emerging talent who looks to have a big future.
His South Africa-born clubmate Duhan van der Merwe will qualify for Scotland after completing three years residency next summer.