Blaine Scully, the captain of the United States, has shared a parting message on Twitter Tuesday after announcing his retirement from rugby.

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The 32-year-old left the Cardiff Blues at the end of last season and has since been without a club, although he led his country at the recent World Cup in Japan at the end of last year.

He posted this message on Twitter alongside a longer statement: “To the friends, team-mates, opponents, coaches and fans, to the clubs and countries and, of course, the game itself, you have my deepest thanks for the experience of a lifetime.”

Scully’s statement gave an insight into the acceptance that he is no longer a professional rugby player, as well as the “gift” of playing rugby for a living, saying that his career was not defined by the number of caps earned or contracts signed but “the way I competed”.

The full-back also thanked his former clubs Leicester Tigers and Cardiff, the University of California, as well as his family throughout his career.

However, he emphasised the pride and honour in playing for the United States, for whom he made his debut in 2011.

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He said: “My proudest moments are running out onto the field to represent the United States. For over ten years, I have accepted the responsibility of the US jersey and hoped to live up to what it means to be an Eagle.

“After three World Cups, 54 caps and countless memories of wearing red, white and blue in cities from Sacramento to Tokyo, I’m proud of what I did. But as the great Bill Russell said, ‘You play until there are no games left in your jersey’. It’s my turn to give it back.”

Scully also represented his country in sevens and bows out after a promising RWC display from the Eagles, particularly in a close encounter with France.

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