Experienced Edinburgh flanker Roddy Grant has been forced to retire after failing to recover from a knee injury suffered at the end of last season.
The 28-year-old played 138 times for the club and represented Scotland Sevens between 2006 and 2014, including last year’s Commonwealth Games.
“A difficult time has been made easier as it’s not been a decision,” said Grant.
“You just have to get on with it, accept things and move on.”
Grant joined Edinburgh in 2009 after beginning his Scottish rugby career as an apprentice with Border Reivers.
A recipient of the John Macphail Scholarship in 2008, he broadened his experience playing with Auckland University in New Zealand, having played through Scotland’s age grades, and went on to be part of the Scotland A team that secured a 35 / 0 victory over England Saxons in 2012.
“It’s been a pretty emotional time, having to come to terms with the fact I have to stop playing due to injury but I have no regrets,” added Grant.
“I’m really proud of what I’ve done, what I’ve achieved and what I’ve contributed.”
Head coach Alan Solomons said: “Roddy’s retirement is a sad day for both the club and Scottish rugby.
“I’ve been fortunate, over the years, to coach some terrific young men; Roddy is right up there with the best of the best. His contribution to the club has been immense, both on and off the field. He is a leader of men and the ultimate pro.
“He has the heart of a lion, an unbelievable work-rate and he knew our systems and his role within them to perfection. Roddy never had a bad game. He is certainly one of the most consistent players I have ever coached.
“We will miss him – he is one of a kind.”
The All Blacks played down injury concerns over Colin Slade on Tuesday after the flyhalf went down with a knee problem at training.
Slade received medical attention after slipping over in Wellington, an incident which revived memories of New Zealand’s injury woes at the last tournament in 2011.
“He slipped over during training and landed awkwardly on his knee and gave it a bit of a tweak,” assistant coach Ian Foster said.
“He was walking around the shed afterwards. He’s fine.”
Slade was 1 of 3 flyhalves sidelined with injury during the 2011 World Cup, almost derailing New Zealand’s bid to win the tournament on home soil.
Waratahs captain Dave Dennis revealed that he went to America to speed up the rehabilitation program, following a knee injury.
Dennis was among the first batch of Waratahs that began pre-season training this week, as they look to defend their Super Rugby crown.
He was among the first group of returning players, which include senior team members Pat McCutcheon, Paddy Ryan and Jeremy Tilse.
They are joined by seven new faces, including former New Zealand Warriors Rugby League player Sam Lousi.
The All Blacks were given a big scare ahead of their Test against the Wallabies on Saturday.
First-choice flyhalf Beauden Barrett is under a slight injury cloud, following a training ground mishap.
The No 10 limped out of training with his left thigh iced and Colin Slade running the final few minutes of the session.
There is no indication when a call will be made on Barritt’s fitness.
News from the UK is that Tendai “Beast” Mtawarira is returning home due to his recurring heart problem.
The Vodacom Bulls openside flanker and prime fetcher, who had to withdraw from the Bulls lineup the day before the Blues clash 2 weeks ago, due to a hamstring injury, still won’t be risked this weekend against the Reds.
Dr Org Strauss and his medical team have deemed it wiser for Stegmann to rest one more week, to be ready for the Bulls clash at Newlands against the Stormers, rather than cause further damage this week against the Reds.
The Sharks received a timely boost with the news that lock Steven Sykes will join up with his teammates in Sydney later this week – ahead of their Super Rugby encounter with the Waratahs.
All Black and Crusaders super star Dan Carter has given his struggling Crusaders team mates a confidence lift for the season by returning to training for the Super Rugby season.
The Sharks have been given a boost with the news that flank Willem Alberts has been cleared to play after having extensive rehabilitation during the off-season.
Springbok and Sharks prop Tendai “‘Beast” Mtawarira has been admitted to a private hospital in Cape Town suffering from heart palpitations.
Sharks coach John Plumtree has been forced to make changes to his team to face the Southern Kings this Friday evening at Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium in Port Elizabeth.
New Zealand’s Rugby World Cup-winning captain Richie McCaw has begun running again following foot surgery but does not expect to be available for the Crusaders’ Super Rugby campaign until at least April.
News from the City Of Roses is that, one of the leading contenders to Captain the Springboks in 2012, Juan Smith, has not recovered from his injury and is on crutches once again.
Vodacom Bulls lock Fudge Mabeta will miss the 2012 Super Rugby campaign after being injured in a car accident.
Toulouse’s South Africa hooker Gary Botha broke his right leg in Friday’s French Top 14 win over Montpellier and will be ruled out for up to four months.
The Highlanders have suffered a blow for the first two months of Super Rugby with the loss of lock Jarrad Hoeata.
Vodacom Bulls prop Rossouw de Klerk will miss the start of the 2012 Vodacom Super Rugby season due to a foot injury.
The British and Irish Lions have confirmed that former Scotland full-back and SRU past president Andy Irvine will mange the 2013 Lions tour to Australia and that the tour will kick off in Hong Kong against the Barbarians.