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Alan Tait, looking back on his career
"I've been surrounded by some great people"
 real 28k

Friday, 14 January, 2000, 10:37 GMT
Scottish hero Tait retires

tait Alan Tait (left) celebrates the '97 Lions victory in SA


Scotland and Edinburgh Reivers centre Alan Tait has been forced to retire because of back problems.

The 35-year-old star has been plagued by injuries since the recent World Cup and feared the worst after receiving a specialist's report earlier this week.



Alan brought so much to the Scottish team
ex-Scotland coach Jim Telfer
Tait will go down in history as one of the finest players of his generation - and one of the few to become a true success in both rugby codes.

After leaving rugby league giant Leeds three years ago, most thought he was finished as a top class player.


tait Tait was a master of both codes of rugby
Nevertheless, following a move to Newcastle, he went on to tour with the British Lions and last season helped Scotland to their dramatic Five Nations title.

"I am obviously disappointed that I will no longer be playing," Tait said.

"However, throughout my long career I have been blessed by playing with good players in superb teams and always in a good atmosphere.

"I have reached a pinnacle in rugby and have a wealth of very fond memories.

"I could not achieved what I have without the support of my wife, my father, who is my biggest critic, and my mother, who is my biggest fan."

Praise floods in

Scotland coach Ian McGeechan said Tait had achieved as much as any player could possibly hope for.

"Alan Tait was a very good influence, particularly in the immediate aftermath of rugby union becoming a professional game," McGeechan said.

"He helped to cement that professional attitude in players both on the 1997 British Lions tour to South Africa and then, subsequently, with the national team."

Ex-Scotland coach Jim Telfer said: "Alan brought so much to the Scottish team and I wish him all the best in his retirement.

"We will be having a meeting with Alan in the near future to discuss where he sees his career going."

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Links to other Rugby Union stories are at the foot of the page.