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Robbie Fergusson and Jamie Farndale Retire from Rugby

Two of Scotland’s most experienced international sevens players, Robbie Fergusson and Jamie Farndale, are to retire from the sport after stellar careers.

The pair, who have between them scored nearly 1,300 points on various iterations of the World Rugby SVNS series, made their debuts in 2017 and 2015 respectively and have combined to make more than 560 matches on the circuit for Scotland or, latterly, Great Britain.

In a tale laced with symmetry, both Farndale and Fergusson are previous Scotland 7s captains; have appeared at two Commonwealth Games; and each would have featured at consecutive Rugby World Cup Sevens, were it not for Robbie missing the latter event for the birth of his second child in 2022.

After Great Britain narrowly missed out on the Olympic Games, losing out to South Africa in the final of last weekend’s repechage competition, the two former Scotland 7s captains have called time on proceedings.

Robbie Fergusson made his World Series debut in Dubai in 2017 and in his first season on the circuit, displayed the sort of consistency of performance that would become a fixture of his career, picking up the Impact Player award in the season’s final event in Paris after scoring points in each of Scotland’s five matches.

Fergusson represented Scotland at age-grade levels through to U20, featuring at two Junior World Championships in 2012 and 2013 (where Scotland finished ninth and tenth respectively).

But it was on the international sevens circuit that he would develop into one of the most rounded players on display. A playmaker who led from the front, he was named Scotland 7s co-captain, with Farndale, ahead of the 2018/19 campaign, before being given the sole honour by then-new head coach Ciaran Beattie the year after.

His eye for detail and ability to put others around him in space did not detract from his own try-scoring threat, with Fergusson notching 87 tries from 256 World SVNS Series matches, as well as 81 conversions for a career tally of 597 points.

Robbie at-a-glance

– Scotland U17/U18/U20 age grades

– ⁠Won the Scottish league and Cup double with Ayr RFC 2012/2013

– ⁠Glasgow Warriors (debut 2015)

– ⁠Commonwealth Games 2018, 2022

– Rugby World Cups Sevens 2018

– ⁠2020 Tokyo Olympic Games

– ⁠European games silver medallist 2023

– 50 World Sevens Series caps with Scotland and Great Britain.

Looking back on his storied sevens career, Robbie said: “7s is an incredible environment to be part of and I consider myself extremely lucky to have been able to do it for this long.

“Off-field the memories and friendships I have made will last a lifetime. On-field, making the Olympic squad for 2020 is a career highlight with the work that went into getting selected for that and more recently, beating Australia in Singapore to keep Great Britain on the World SVNS Series circuit was very special.”

Fellow stalwart Jamie Farndale is the all-time leading Scottish try scorer in various guises of the international sevens series. The former Edinburgh Academy pupil joined Edinburgh Rugby on a development contract straight from school, going on to become the club’s youngest debutant and representing Scotland at three Junior World Championships.

A prolific scorer, Farndale accumulated no fewer than 136 tries on the World Sevens Series over the course of his 302 matches for Scotland and then Great Britain. His tally of games is the most by a Scot, testament to Farndale’s physical attributes as well as his prowess with ball in hand.

Away from rugby, Jamie’s other passion lies in sustainability and in particular what the world of sport looks like in the future as it tries to combat, amongst other issues, climate change. His studies on sustainability at Cambridge University also led to him, earlier this year, winning the Varsity Match.

Jamie at-a-glance

– 50 World Sevens Series caps with Scotland and Great Britain

– Scored the winning try to beat New Zealand for the first and still only time in Scottish rugby history at any level before going on to win Twickenham 7s in 2017

– Twickenham World Rugby Sevens Series winner in 2016 & 2017

– Commonwealth Games 2018, 2022

– Rugby World Cup Sevens 2018, 2022

– European Games Silver medallist 2023

– World Rugby 7s try of the season 2022

– Runner-up in Melrose 7s in 2014 with Edinburgh Accies; winner and player of the tournament in 2024 with Shoguns

– 24 caps at U20 level and top try scorer at the 2012 Junior World Championship; top try scorer of all time at Junior World Championships by the time of his last tournament in 2014 (10 tries)

On his sterling career, Jamie reflected: “I am so grateful for the experiences that rugby has given me and the people that I’ve met along the way.

“There are so many moments that I will live with me forever. In terms of a highlight, it is hard to look past becoming the first and only Scottish team to beat the All Blacks on the way to beating England in their own back yard to lift the trophy at Twickenham in 2017. That day was so incredibly special!”

Ciaran Beattie, under whom both Fergusson and Farndale led Scotland, paid tribute to the pair, saying: “I’ve worked with the pair of them since they were part of the Scotland U20 set-up and our paths have crossed throughout their rugby journey.

“It’s been a privilege to see Robbie and Jamie grow into the players and people that they have. They’re exceptional human beings, have always helped others coming through and they represented Scotland with distinction.”

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