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Scotland scrum-half Scott Steele forced to retire aged 30

By Josh Raisey
Scott Steele (front left) with Hamish Watson (Photo by Visionhaus/Getty Images)

Former Scotland and Edinburgh scrum-half Scott Steele has announced his retirement from rugby at the age of 30.

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The four-cap Scotland international has decided to hang up his boots after having his third hip operation.

Steele joined Edinburgh at the beginning of the season from Harlequins, but has failed to play a minute of rugby due to his latest hip issue.

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The scrum-half had represented Leicester Tigers and London Irish prior to his move to Harlequins. During his time at the Stoop he earned his first Scotland cap against Wales in October 2020.

He went on to earn three more caps, including an appearance off the bench in Scotland’s first win against England at Twickenham in 38 years in 2021.

Fixture
United Rugby Championship
Edinburgh
26 - 29
Full-time
Munster
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A statement released by Steele reads: “After three years of battling with injuries and whilst currently recovering from my third hip operation, I’ve decided to retire from professional rugby at the end of this season.

“My career has way exceeded any expectations I first had when it all started at my local rugby club Dumfries Saints. To go on and represent such prestigious clubs as Leicester Tigers, London Irish, Harlequins and to get capped for Scotland four times is something I’m extremely proud of.

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“Thank you to my family and close friends for their support which gave me the belief to chase my dream job and stick at it for 13 long years. Thank you to all the coaches and support staff at all the teams I’ve been involved with. Thanks to the various medical teams for looking after me and for getting me back onto the picth.

“To the loyal fans of the teams I’ve represented, I cannot thank you enough. Huge thank you to everyone at Edinburgh Rugby who have been great during my extremely frustrating season with them.

“Finally, thanks to all my teammates over the years. You are the reason I gave my absolute all every time I took the field and you are the reason why I’ve enjoyed the last 13 years so much.”

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J
Jon 1 hours ago
Why Sam Cane's path to retirement is perfect for him and the All Blacks

> It would be best described as an elegant solution to what was potentially going to be a significant problem for new All Blacks coach Scott Robertson. It is a problem the mad population of New Zealand will have to cope with more and more as All Blacks are able to continue their careers in NZ post RWCs. It will not be a problem for coaches, who are always going to start a campaign with the captain for the next WC in mind. > Cane, despite his warrior spirit, his undoubted commitment to every team he played for and unforgettable heroics against Ireland in last year’s World Cup quarter-final, was never unanimously admired or respected within New Zealand while he was in the role. Neither was McCaw, he was considered far too passive a captain and then out of form until his last world cup where everyone opinions changed, just like they would have if Cane had won the WC. > It was never easy to see where Cane, or even if, he would fit into Robertson’s squad given the new coach will want to be building a new-look team with 2027 in mind. > Cane will win his selections on merit and come the end of the year, he’ll sign off, he hopes, with 100 caps and maybe even, at last, universal public appreciation for what was a special career. No, he won’t. Those returning from Japan have already earned the right to retain their jersey, it’s in their contract. Cane would have been playing against England if he was ready, and found it very hard to keep his place. Perform, and they keep it however. Very easy to see where Cane could have fit, very hard to see how he could have accomplished it choosing this year as his sabbatical instead of 2025, and that’s how it played out (though I assume we now know what when NZR said they were allowing him to move his sabbatical forward and return to NZ next year, they had actually agreed to simply select him for the All Blacks from overseas, without any chance he was going to play in NZ again). With a mammoth season of 15 All Black games they might as well get some value out of his years contract, though even with him being of equal character to Richie, I don’t think they should guarantee him his 100 caps. That’s not what the All Blacks should be about. He absolutely has to play winning football.

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