Retiring Dickinson joins Fosroc Scottish Rugby Academy

Scotland and Edinburgh prop, Alasdair Dickinson, today announced his retirement from playing to take up a coaching role with the Fosroc Scottish Rugby Academy in Edinburgh.

Born in Dundee, Dickinson joined Edinburgh as an apprentice in 2004, and went on to surpass 50 appearances for the club before joining English Premiership outfit Gloucester in 2007.

He then moved to Premiership rivals Sale Sharks before returning to the capital club in 2013, reaching a total of 120 club appearances and earning 58 Test caps for his country.

The next chapter of Dickinson’s career will be as an academy coach, with the opportunity to specialise in the scrum and contact area with Scotland’s most promising young players.

Dickinson, who featured in three Rugby World Cup campaigns (2007, 2011 and 2015), said: “It’s the natural progression to transition from playing to coaching.

“I’ve been really fortunate to have been offered this role to help develop the youngsters coming through, from school-age, into the academy and hopefully into the pro teams.

“It’ll certainly challenge me as being a player is completely different from being a coach. I can’t wait to get started and it’s definitely going to be a great test of my character.”

Reflecting on his retirement, he added: “It’s obviously been a tough decision but when you’re getting a bit older, your body makes the decision for you.

“For me, my body just couldn’t keep up with the demands of the professional game and I believe it’s now a good time to call it a day.

“There has been loads of good memories along the way but it’s not just the games, there’s great pre-seasons, training and socials with the squad. I’ll definitely miss those moments with my teammates.

“To take up a position with the Fosroc Academy is a great opportunity for me.”

Scottish Rugby Head of Academies, Sean Lineen, said: “I’m delighted to have Dicko [Alasdair Dickinson] on board. He’s a recently retired, quality international rugby player and someone that out younger players will know and respect, and to whom he can lend all his knowledge and experience learned in 14 years at the top of the game.

“He’s an academy coach but there is also the chance work on his specialist areas of scrum and contact more widely, where his experience is up to date and can be applied across all our academies and national age-grade teams. He’s a very welcome addition."

Dickinson made his Test debut against New Zealand at BT Murrayfield in Rugby World Cup, 2007, on a difficult day which saw the home side defeated 40-0.

It was only a few months until he was celebrating however, as he made an appearance from the bench during Scotland’s 15-9 Calcutta Cup victory over England in March the following year.

He scored his first of two tries in the 2011 Summer Test against Italy, with his second coming in the opening international of the 2013/14 season - the 42-17 triumph over Japan at BT Murrayfield.

Up to this point Dickinson had, largely, been battling for the right to consistently start for Scotland (starting 11 of his 28 caps) before the 2014 summer tour signalled a progression in form and regular selection for the technically-astute and mobile loosehead.

He would more than double his Test match tally in the next three years alone, starting 21 of his remaining 30 appearances, as part of a formidable front-row alongside club and country colleagues, hooker Ross Ford and tighthead prop WP Nel.