Former Scotland captain John Barclay has officially announced his international retirement this morning.
The 33-year-old flanker won 76 caps in an international career that started against the All Blacks at BT Murrayfield during the 2007 Rugby World Cup; with his final appearance a try-scoring victory against Russia at the 2019 Rugby World Cup.
He said: “After much thought I have decided the time is right to step down from the international game.
Former @Scotlandteam captain @johnbarc86 has announced his international retirement this morning. He made 76 appearances for the National side, making his first against the @AllBlacks in 2007.— SCRUM Magazine (@SCRUMMAGAZINE) December 4, 2019
For the full story👇https://t.co/Bi5wAMROXA#KeepItSCRUM pic.twitter.com/Sqrc9og94d
“This isn’t an easy decision to make; playing for Scotland is the culmination of years of hard work and determination and undoubtedly one of the best things I will achieve in my life.
“It has truly been a privilege to wear the jersey but for me and my family it feels like the right time.”
“Not many people can say they got to live their boyhood dream but I was lucky enough to have that honour and it is something I am unbelievably proud of.”
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He led his country on 15 occasions after former national team boss Vern Cotter recalled Barclay to the side in 2016 after the back-row man criminally missed all of 2014 and most of 2015.
He led the side to memorable victories in the 2018 Calcutta Cup match at BT Murrayfield, and to victory over Australia in Sydney in June 2017.