Ruaridh Jackson, 33 times capped as a stand-off for Scotland and with 163 appearances in two spells with Glasgow Warriors, is retiring from rugby at the end of the season.
The 32-year-old from Aberdeen played a key part on and off the field in the rise of the Warriors, joining in 2006 as a teenager and ending his first spell at the club just before they won the PRO12 title.
He spent three years in England with Wasps and Harlequins before returning to Scotstoun in 2017 and becoming an important senior figure at the club, playing mostly full-back and winning the Players’ Player of the Year award in Dave Rennie’s first season.
He finishes one short of 500 points, having relinquished kicking duties in his later years with the club but still among their most regular try-scorers.
“From school and mini rugby coaches, Sean Lineen giving me the opportunity to sign my first pro contract, all the other coaches, medical teams, back room staff that I have worked with throughout the years, I want to say thank you – you have all played a huge part in my career,” said Jackson.
“I’ve been so fortunate to live out my childhood dream of playing rugby, not just professionally but for my country. It’s been a journey that has allowed me to travel the world, make some incredible friends and without doubt has given me some of the happiest days of my life.
“It is not the fairytale ending I may have dreamt about, but I want to say a huge thank you to everyone who has been part of my 14-year journey as it has truly been an incredible one. I have achieved more than I could ever have dreamed of, but it is now time to embrace a new challenge.”
Jackson made his professional debut against GRAN Parma in the European Challenge Cup at just 18 in 2006, but it was his performance in the Heineken Cup at Bath in the 2008/09 season which made Warriors’ fans sit up and take notice.
Just over a year later he had a dream start to his international career, coming on as a replacement against Samoa at Pittodrie in his home town of Aberdeen and kicking a last minute penalty to help Scotland avoid defeat.
Other highlights of his international career included a drop goal at Twickenham in the Calcutta Cup, piloting Scotland to a crushing win over Italy at Murrayfield, and playing in the 2011 Rugby World Cup in New Zealand.
He scored a try in his final cap international against Canada in 2018, but maybe the highlight of his later international career – and certainly one that showed his huge commitment to club and country – was being a replacement against Australia at Murrayfield in November 2017 and then flying overnight to play for Glasgow in a win at Ospreys the next day.
Glasgow Warriors head coach Dave Rennie said: “Ruaridh is a top man whose contribution to our club has been immense.
“While most of his footy had been played at 10 historically, his impact at fullback for us over the past three seasons was impressive.
“An environmentally and community minded individual, Jacko has been a great role model for our squad regarding planning for life beyond rugby.
“We wish Ruaridh, Kirsten and their expected arrival all the best for the next stage in their lives.”
Warriors Managing Director Nathan Bombrys described Jackson as “one of our all-time great Warriors”.
“In his two stints over his nine years with the Warriors he has played in some of our biggest games, finals and semi-finals at both fly-half and at full-back, and hangs up his boots with his name fifth in our all-time points scoring chart.
“Ruaridh has been such a tremendous servant to our club, on and off the field, and we hope he will stay connected to the club in the years to come.”