Jim Hamilton to retire at end of season

Saracens lock Jim Hamilton is to retire this summer
Saracens lock Jim Hamilton is to retire this summer

Scotland international Jim Hamilton has announced his decision to retire from professional rugby at the end of the ongoing 2017/18 season.

The 34-year-old was a part of the Saracens side that recently defended their European Champions Cup title against Clermont Auvergne at Murrayfield Stadium where he was seen in action in the final two minutes of the game.

Hamilton joined Saracens in 2014 after stints with Leicester Tigers, Edinburgh Rugby, Gloucester Rugby and Montpellier and has enjoyed successive European Champions Cup success. He was also part of the Saracens squad that won consecutive Premiership titles and is in line for the third as Mark McCall's men face Exeter in the play-off next week.

"There's a couple of LV= Cups in there too but we're not counting them," smiled the former Leicester, Edinburgh, Gloucester and Montpellier forward after bowing out at his old BT Murrayfield stomping ground.

"It feels a little bit surreal to be chatting about it all now but I feel incredibly honoured to have played this game when I'm a guy that isn't that most overly talented.

"But I have worked as hard as I possibly could and made the most of every opportunity that has been presented to me.

"I'm incredibly proud to have won that European Cup.

"I had the option to go to London Irish next season but I just feel the time is right to finish and go out at the top. It just feels right.

"It's not a rash decision to bow out after a European Cup win. I know we've still got a couple of games left potentially but it feels right now.

"I've noticed in the last couple of months that the body is taking its toll.

"I was itching to get on at the end but I know where my place is in this team. Maro Itoje and George Kruis are both going to be British Lions and the likelihood is they are going to start.

"But for me, I've played in every game bar one this year. I've started over 20 games over the last two seasons for Sarries. I deserve to be on the pitch and I'm good enough to be on the pitch, so it's only right the coaches put me on.

"Obviously the game was won, which is fine by me, but to be on the pitch and win it was an amazing feeling.

"I could have stayed at Sarries for another year but they are obviously looking to bring younger guys in. I didn't want to go somewhere else and finish on a lull.

"So what better way to finish than by lifting the Champions Cup and, fingers crossed, another Premiership title. It's the way I'd want to go out and be remembered."

Hamilton, who has been capped 63 times for Scotland, decided to quit international rugby following his exclusion from the 2015 World Cup squad.

Aviva Premiership Rugby 2017/18 - Points Table