Euan Murray announces Scotland retirement with immediate effect
Most-capped Scottish prop puts family first as brings an end to his 10-year international career ahead of the Rugby World Cup
Scotland tighthead prop Euan Murray has announced that he will not seek to play in the Rugby World Cup later this year.
The Glasgow Warriors forward, who turns 35 in August, has ended his 10-year international career just weeks before head coach Vern Cotter is due to announce his Scotland training squad.
I have too much respect for the national jersey to put myself forward in those circumstances.
Euan Murray on his Scotland retirement before World Cup
With his third child due to be born as Scotland prepare for the Rugby World Cup, Murray has decided to put his family first, with his decision also ensuring that Cotter’s squad is not diminished by obvious distractions.
Murray made 66 appearances for the Dark Blues following his debut against Romania in Bucharest back in 2005, with his first start coming against the same opposition at BT Murrayfield in November 2006.
He also toured South Africa in 2009 with Sir Ian McGeechan’s British and Irish Lions with Scotland colleagues Ross Ford, Nathan Hines and Mike Blair, making four appearances in non-cap matches before his injury seven minutes into their 20-8 win over the Southern Kings in Port Elizabeth forced him out of the rest of the campaign.
After a spells in England and France between 2007 and 2014 with Northampton Saints, Newcastle Falcons, Agen and Worcester Warriors, Murray returned to Scotland last summer with the Warriors on a one-year deal.
Despite retiring from international rugby after 66 appearances for the Dark Blues, he could extend his stay at the Warriors beyond this season, with discussions ongoing over his future.
“I am extremely proud and grateful to have represented the people of Scotland at rugby for so long,” Murray told the Scottish Rugby website.
“I will retire with many great memories of victories, tours, and friends, both in the playing squad and team management.
“My wife Sarah is due our third child in August and I have to be with my family as much as possible before and after the birth.
“Clearly, with the Rugby World Cup looming, the national squad will be training and playing throughout that period and I have too much respect for the national jersey to put myself forward in those circumstances.
“I’ve made this decision now after much deliberation and lengthy discussions with team management so that they can plan ahead accordingly.”
Despite being one man down at tighthead, Cotter is not short of options going forward with Glasgow Warriors prop Jon Welsh and London Irish’s Geoff Cross – who were part of Cotter’s Six Nations squad, likely to compete for the number three jersey while Exeter Chiefs’ Moray Low could come into contention if he can overcome a hamstring problem that has ruled him out the Aviva Premiership run-in.
I’d like to thank Euan for his hard work and application during my time as Scotland head coach…At his best Euan was a world-class tighthead prop.
Cotter also has two promising, albeit internationally inexperienced options, to consider in the sizable shape of 19-year-old Warriors youngster Zander Fagerson, who has a slim chance of making the squad if he continues his superb form for Scotland U20s at the World Rugby Under 20 Championship in Italy next month.
After three seasons in the Scottish capital, Edinburgh Rugby’s South Africa-born prop WP Nel also becomes eligible for Scotland on residency grounds this summer and his storming season – that saw him named in the Guinness PRO12 Dream Team this afternoon – could catapult him into contention at the first opportunity.
While not revealing any information about his plans for the tighthead berth, Cotter chose to pay tribute to Murray for his contribution to Scottish rugby.
“I’d like to thank Euan for his hard work and application during my time as Scotland head coach,” Cotter said.
“It’s also fitting to recognise Euan’s dedication over a 10-year international career at the coalface of the Scotland forward pack.
“At his best Euan was a world-class tighthead prop. On behalf of the team and management I wish Euan and his family all the very best.”