Former Scotland skipper John Barclay announces retirement from professional rugby

John Barclay had represented Glasgow Warriors, Scarlets and Edinburgh
John Barclay had represented Glasgow Warriors, Scarlets and Edinburgh

Former Scotland skipper John Barclay has announced his retirement from professional rugby ending a stellar 16-year career.

Barclay brought an end to his international career at the end of the World Cup last year in Japan and now has decided to quit professional rugby ahead of the Pro14 restart following the pandemic coronavirus.

The 33-year-old started his professional rugby career with Glasgow Warriors in 2005 and moved to Scarlets in 2013 where he helped them to a maiden Pro14 title in 2017.

He was recently associated with Edinburgh which he joined in 2018 but his appearance for the club was reduced to 14 games due to a combination of injuries and the outbreak of Covid-19 which led to the suspension of the tournament from March.

"After much thought I've decided to call time on my career. When you know, you know. Whilst COVID-19 has left a frustrating finish, the end isn't about the fairytale. The whole story has been a fairytale," he said in a statement.

"The opportunity to get to do the thing I loved as a job for 16 years has provided me with enough memories to last a lifetime. I hope I left the clubs I played for in better health than when I joined."

Barclay played 76 Tests for Scotland since his international debut in 2007 and has represented them in the 2007, 2011 and 2019 World Cups.