Scotland's Laidlaw announces international retirement

FILE PHOTO: Rugby Union - Rugby World Cup - Pool A - Scotland v Samoa - Kobe Misaki Stadium, Kobe, Japan - September 30, 2019 Scotland's Greig Laidlaw gestures as he celebrates after the match REUTERS/Rebecca Naden

(Reuters) - Scotland captain Greig Laidlaw has announced his international retirement, Scottish Rugby said on Thursday.

Clermont Auvergne scrumhalf Laidlaw, 34, has led Scotland 39 times, more than any other player, and has won 76 caps. He is second on the all-time points list for the country with 714.

“To say I will never again stand in the tunnel, filled with nerves, alongside my rugby family and lead my teammates out on to the pitch at Murrayfield, is incredibly hard,” Laidlaw said in a statement.

“While my body and heart could continue playing, my head tells me that it’s time to let the team rebuild.

“In terms of where Scotland is now, they are in a position to spring forward and I cannot wait to give them my full support from the stands.”

Laidlaw follows winger Tommy Seymour and former captain John Barclay in retiring after the Rugby World Cup in Japan, where Scotland crashed out at the pool stage.

Reporting by Hardik Vyas in Bengaluru; Editing by Toby Davis