John Barclay: Former captain retires from Scotland duty after 76 caps

John Barclay
Barclay marked his final cap with a try against Russia at the World Cup in October

Former Scotland captain John Barclay is "unbelievably proud" to have "lived his boyhood dream" after announcing his international retirement.

The 33-year-old Edinburgh forward won 76 caps and played in three World Cups.

Barclay made his debut against New Zealand at Murrayfield in the 2007 World Cup and captained the side in his final appearance against Russia at the Japan showpiece in October this year.

"All good things must come to an end," Barclay wrote on Instagram.

"This isn't an easy decision to make; playing for Scotland is the culmination of years of hard work and dedication and undoubtedly one the best things I will achieve in my life. But for me and my family it feels like the right time.

"It has truly been a privilege to wear the jersey. 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.

"Not the end of my rugby journey, but the end of one chapter. Thanks for the memories."

Hong Kong-born Barclay became an international mainstay during his eight years with Glasgow and was part of Scotland's renowned "Killer B's" back row alongside Warriors club-mates Kelly Brown and Johnnie Beattie.

He joined Scarlets in 2013, helping the Welsh side to the Pro12 title in 2017, before moving to Edinburgh last year. A ruptured Achilles delayed his debut until March 2019 but on his return to action he earned a place in Gregor Townsend's World Cup squad, starting two of Scotland's four Pool A games.

'A pleasure to coach and brought ability, class and leadership'

Scotland head coach Gregor Townsend

I was fortunate enough to coach John at both club and national level, and he was a very consistent and committed performer.

He's had some major moments and performances that have helped Scotland win - the win against Australia in Sydney when he led the team so well, and our win against England in the Calcutta Cup in 2018 spring to mind from recent times.

He's been a pleasure to coach and can be very proud of what he's achieved for Scotland.

Former Scotland captain Rory Lawson

I've had a front row seat watching John's career develop. I played alongside him on the day he made his debut against New Zealand when he went up against the great Richie McCaw.

He always brought a huge amount of ability, huge amount of class and real leadership. He was a top boy and gave an awful lot to that Scotland jersey.

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