Scotland’s Tommy Seymour retires from international duty

Tommy Seymour’s last appearance for Scotland was the Rugby World Cup defeat by Japan

Glasgow Warriors back Tommy Seymour has announced he is retiring from Scotland duty after earning 55 caps on what he describes as “an amazing journey”.

The Nashville-born 31-year-old is the second member of this summer’s World Cup squad to make such a decision.

Edinburgh’s John Barclay called it a day earlier this month after 76 caps.

“The pride from wearing the thistle on my chest is one of the most powerful feelings I’ve experienced,” Seymour said on Twitter.

Seymour, who has spent most of his career on the wing, is Scotland’s fourth-top try scorer, crossing the line 20 times in a six-year spell during which he has been at two World Cups and represented the British and Irish Lions on their 2017 tour to New Zealand.

An Irish youth cap on account of moving to Belfast when he was young, Seymour qualified for Scotland through his Glasgow-born mother and made his international debut two years after joining Glasgow in 2011.

“Playing for Scotland has been the greatest honour,” he said. “It was in every way a dream come true and an amazing journey to share with friends, family and Scotland supporters.

“I have been fortunate enough to play with some of the greatest players this country has ever produced and even more fortunate that in some I have found friends for life.”

Scotland head coach Gregor Townsend, who was also his team boss at Glasgow, suggested Seymour, who has recently also been playing at full-back, had added “elements to his game each season” and had been “fantastic to work with”.

“Tommy can reflect on an excellent international career,” he said. “He has one of the best try-scoring rates for Scotland.

“To earn 55 caps in a six-year period is testament to not only his all-round rugby ability but also his consistency in the blue jersey.

“His game was very well suited to the demands of Test rugby, as he had a high work-rate, world-class aerial skills and a very good awareness of when to get on to ball.”

‘His level of consistency was rare’ – analysis

BBC Scotland chief sportswriter Tom English

As a winger, Seymour’s stock-in-trade was tries and he scored plenty of them in his Test career, including against the three Southern Hemisphere giants. But that was just part of what made him a very effective operator. Seymour’s aerial ability was excellent, his reading of the game was intelligent, his defence solid.

His last acts as a Scotland player were in Japan at the World Cup. It was a disappointing experience, a shadow of the quality he delivered at the tournament four years earlier when he was at his peak. Seymour scored in every game he played in. He actually scored in five consecutive matches and in seven out of eight including the Tests that followed. For a Scottish wing that was a level of consistency that was rare.

He was good enough to be a Lion in 2017. Seymour didn’t make the Test squad but he still finished the tour with three tries, one more than anybody else. At 31, there’s rugby left in him. Glasgow will get the sole benefit of it now.

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