Edinburgh centurion Fraser McKenzie has announced his retirement from professional rugby with immediate effect. The 33-year-old hangs up his boots following a 15-year career that saw the lock make 119 appearances for his boyhood club, alongside spells at Sale Sharks and Newcastle Falcons.
The Dunfermline grassroots player, who first joined the Edinburgh academy in 2006, has called time on his career under medical guidance having suffered a series of shoulder injuries that have kept him out of action for over a year.
“Obviously there is a never a right time to retire or give up the game you love doing, but unfortunately your body tells you when it is time to stop and for me that is now,” said McKenzie. “I suffered a shoulder injury against Scarlets last year and I rehabbed it fully throughout the lockdown period, but then coming back to face Glasgow in August 2020, I dislocated it again, which meant I had to go for further surgery.
“It’s been an accumulation of injuries and my body has definitely been struggling with the rigours of professional rugby. At the end of the day, I’m still a young man and I have had a good innings throughout my career. Injury means that I’m stepping away, but I’m proud of what I’ve achieved.”
An ex-Scotland U20s captain, McKenzie made his Edinburgh debut at home to Connacht in September 2009. He made the move south to join Sale in 2011 and this was followed by a spell at Newcastle in 2013 before he returned home to the Scottish capital in 2014.
The ? of Dunfy.
— Edinburgh Rugby (@EdinburghRugby) April 16, 2021
“Looking back, I’m most proud of getting a professional contract with the club that I grew up supporting and watching – that has been huge for me,” continued McKenzie. “I have also been able to travel the world and see plenty of places, while I have also been able to experience playing for different teams and different clubs.
“I’m really happy that I was able to finish my career here and have a good stint at Edinburgh. To finish at this club, who have supported me so well, is a big thing for me. Edinburgh means a lot to me. I grew up watching the team and even going to watch a game was a massive thing for me back in the day, never mind playing a game for the club. It’s been a brilliant experience.”
Edinburgh boss Richard Cockerill added: “He is a club legend, make no bones about it. He has been a hugely important player during both his spells at Edinburgh and we are obviously sad to see him retire – but it’s the right decision. He commands a huge amount of respect from the changing room and that is a testament to the way he carries himself around the club. He is a great example for young forwards coming through the ranks.”
Attempt made to jazz up this month's new tournament featuring 16 teams from five countrieshttps://t.co/ACnKd5vZVd
— RugbyPass (@RugbyPass) April 15, 2021
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