JIM HAMILTON has revealed that playing for Scotland has made him “a better man” as he announced his retirement from international rugby. The 32 year-old lock has decided to call a day after being omitted from Vern Cotter’s squad for the forthcoming World Cup after amassing 63 caps since his debut against Romania in November 2006.

In a heartfelt statement published via his Twitter page, he said: “Today is both a say day and a day that I feel extremely proud to have had. For I announce my retirement from international rugby. 15 years ago from today I was on the bare bones of my a*se. Never in a million Saturday afternoons did I think I would have represented this beautiful country of Scotland 63 times on the rugby field.

“I have loved every single moment of wearing the thistle and feel extremely humble to have done it for 9 years. Thank you to my wife and children for supporting me along the way. Thank you to the Scottish supporters for making the matches so special. A huge thank you to Frank Hadden for giving me my first opportunity in 2006. And also to Dr James Robson and Steven Mutch for patching me together so many times. Kit man John Pennycuick (Cookie) and Gav Scott (team manager) for keeping me grounded. Scottish rugby has not only given me a platform to play rugby at the highest level but has given me a platform to be a better man. I wish everyone involved with Scottish rugby all the best and I know consistent success is around the corner. #63andout.”