FORMER Scotland 7s captain Scott Riddell will retire from professional rugby following the final leg of the 2018-19 HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series in Paris this weekend, bringing to an end a ten-year career in the sport during which time he has become the nation’s most capped player in the abbreviated game with 74 (which is 25 clear of second-placed Colin Gregor in the all-time charts).
The Edinburgh-born 33-year-old has played in three World Cups (Dubai 2009, Moscow 2013 and San Francisco 2018) and three Commonwealth Games (Delhi 2010, Glasgow 2014 and Gold Coast 2018).
He was part of the Scotland team which achieved a historic comeback victory over South Africa in the final of the 2016 London Sevens to achieve a first ever Cup victory on the HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series, and 12 months he was a member of the first-ever Scotland team to beat New Zealand in any form of the game on the way retaining their Twickenham title.
Riddell will now transition to a full-time position as Scottish Rugby Coach Development Officer for the Caledonia Midlands region having undertaken the role on a part-time basis since July 2018.
“If you’d said to me when I first started that I’d play for Scotland for a decade, I wouldn’t have believed you,” he said. “We’ve had a few good times and a few tough times but looking back on it all it’s been an amazing experience.
“The programme is night and day from when I made my debut. The detail we now go into with the coaches and the training structures we have are superb.
“There are so many special memories, from Hong Kong to playing in front of 45,000 incredibly loud fans at Ibrox at Glasgow 2014.
“To win our first ever cup in the manner we did in London and back that up the following year with a really talented and experienced group was outstanding.
“It’ll take a wee while for retirement to sink in but I have been so lucky to play for Scotland for as long as I have and I’ll walk off the pitch in Paris knowing I’ve given everything I can.”