Scotland centurion Stuart Hogg has announced his retirement from rugby with immediate effect.
The full-back, who won his 100th and final international cap in Round 4 of the 2023 Guinness Six Nations, has decided to bring forward his retirement due to the strain on his body.
In March, Hogg announced his decision to hang up his boots following the Rugby World Cup later this year, but the 31-year-old will now play no part in France, the country he scored his first international try against 11 years ago.
The man from the famous rugby town of Hawick was just the fifth Scotland player – male or female – to reach 100 caps, having previously made history in 2021 when he became Scotland’s record try scorer.
A two-time Guinness Six Nations Player of the Championship winner, Hogg featured in two World Cups and captained the side in back-to-back wins over England in 2021 and 2022, as well as a famous first win in Paris for 22 years.
Hogg was also selected for three British & Irish Lions Tours, starting two Tests in 2021, and also enjoyed rich success at club level, winning the Pro12 with Glasgow Warriors in 2015 and the European Champions Cup and Gallagher Premiership with Exeter Chiefs in 2020.
In his retirement announcement, Hogg said: “It is difficult where to start but with great sadness and an enormous amount of pride, I am announcing my immediate retirement from playing rugby.
“I fought with everything I had to make the Rugby World Cup but this time my body has not been able to do the things I wanted and needed it to do. We knew this day would come eventually, I just never thought it would be this soon.
“It’s hard to put into words just how much of an impact the game has had on my life. I will be retiring knowing that I have given my body and heart to rugby. I will be forever grateful to this amazing community and cannot wait to begin my journey as a proud supporter of the team.”
Scotland coach Gregor Townsend added: “Following Stuart’s news we would like to wish him all the best in his retirement. He has been an outstanding player for Scotland and has had a career lit up with so many achievements, highlights and special memories.
“I have had the pleasure of coaching Stuart for the majority of his career, and he was a joy to work with and watch on the training field and in games. He had a love for so many aspects of the game, and not only got joy from taking on defenders with ball in hand but also putting his teammates into space.
His basic skills and speed set him apart from other players, and it has been an amazing effort to play Test rugby for the past 11 years.
“To reach 100 caps this year was fitting and just reward for a career that has seen him represent the British & Irish Lions and win trophies both domestically and at a European level.
“We respect his decision to step away now and understand the stresses and challenges his body has gone through in recent seasons. He has been an integral part of our squad for many years, as well as captaining the side to famous victories over England and France in 2021, and we all wish him well in his career post rugby. We look forward to welcoming him back to support us from the stands.”