Newcastle Falcons scrum-half Rory Lawson is to retire from professional rugby with immediate effect.
The 32-year-old Scotland international, who joined the Falcons in the summer of 2012, has been advised by medical experts to retire due to a chronic wrist injury.
Capped 31-times by his country, Lawson brings to an end a 14-year career which saw him represent Scotland at under-18, under-19, under-21, sevens, ‘A’ and senior levels.
The Dunfermline-born No.9 made his Scotland bow against Australia in November 2006, and soon pulled on the navy blue jersey for his Six Nations debut against England at Twickenham in 2007.
Lawson went on to play in the 2007 World Cup and established himself as one of Europe’s top scrum-halves, captaining Scotland on five occasions, most recently at the 2011 World Cup in New Zealand.
At domestic level Lawson began his career at Edinburgh before securing a move to Aviva Premiership outfit Gloucester in 2006 where he enjoyed six seasons with the Cherry and Whites.
Lifting the LV= Cup and reaching the Aviva Premiership play-offs in 2011, the talented No.9 left Kingsholm for Kingston Park last year.
Lawson made 23 appearances scoring four tries for the Falcons during last season’s RFU Championship campaign which culminated in promotion to English rugby’s top table.
“I’m obviously gutted to have been forced to stop playing the game I love, but I’ll always look back on my career with immense pride,” said Lawson.
“I’ve thoroughly enjoyed my time at Newcastle Falcons, and I’ve loved every minute of my stay in the North East, a region that is passionate about its rugby.
“I’m not entirely sure what the future holds at this stage but there are a few opportunities to explore and I will continue to work closely with my RPA player development manager, Mandy Thompson, to identify what areas to focus on over the coming months and I’d like to thank her for her amazing support through this transition,” he added.
Falcons director of rugby Dean Richards said: “Rory has been a magnificent servant to the game and he will be sorely missed.
“He’s a quality player, whose enthusiasm, wealth of knowledge and experience has really rubbed off on our players ever since he arrived at the club.
“I thank him for his commitment to the club last season in helping us achieve our main objective of Premiership rugby, and I think I speak on behalf of everyone at the club in wishing him all the very best for the future.”