Scotland international scrum-half Chris Cusiter, who joined the Premiership club Sale Sharks from Glasgow last season, has announced his retirement from professional rugby.
The 33-year-old won 70 caps for his country and toured New Zealand with the 2005 Lions.
“As far as my rugby career goes, I considered myself privileged to receive a Scotland A cap in 2002. If it had ended there at that point, then I would have been happy,” said Cusiter.
“I could never have imagined all the experiences I would be able to have over the next 14 years through rugby – the places I visited, the stadiums I played in, the people I met and the great friends I made.
“Playing for Scotland 70 times was more than I could have dreamed of growing up learning how to play rugby at Robert Gordon’s College in Aberdeen.
“The memories of playing for Scotland and touring New Zealand with the British and Irish Lions will be with me forever, and I am grateful for all the incredible experiences I have been afforded through rugby.
“Highlights have included winning the BT Premiership with Boroughmuir in 2003, winning the Top 14 title with Perpignan in 2009 and reaching the final of the PRO12 with Glasgow Warriors in 2014.
“I have always been aware of the finite nature of a career in professional rugby, particularly given some of the injuries I picked up, and this is the right time to hang up my boots and move on to the next challenge. Now is the time for me to move forward, to something I have been working on alongside my rugby career.”
Cusiter will now go into the specialist market of Scotch whisky, setting up an alcohol retail business based in Los Angeles, which will specialise in craft beer, fine wine and craft spirits.
“I cannot wait for the next chapter for me and my family as we embark upon this new adventure in California,” he added.