O’Donnell announces her retirement from international rugby

O’Donnell announces her retirement from international rugby

Scotland forward Lyndsay O’Donnell has today announced her retirement from both international and club rugby.

The lock has made 20 appearances for the national side, having made her debut for Scotland against France in 2013. She has also previously represented her country in the Sevens circuit, having first featured in the squad at the 2013 FIRA Grand Prix tournament in Brive.

O’Donnell starred in the Scotland squad during the 2021 Rugby World Cup in New Zealand, making her competition debut during Scotland’s final Pool A match against eventual tournament winners, Black Ferns. Her last appearance wearing the Thistle was against France in last year’s TikTok Women’s Six Nations championship.

Born in Stirling, O’Donnell formerly played for her hometown side as well as Alloa RFC, while away from the pitch, she works for the NHS as a physiotherapist.

O’Donnell was a stalwart at Worcester Warriors, having joined the club in 2011. In 2013, she and her Warriors teammates clinched their first ever Women’s Premiership title after a bonus-point victory against Wasps. Some six years later, O’Donnell was named Worcester Warriors club captain, serving until 2023, before joining Bristol Bears on a short-term loan deal.

Speaking of her decision to retire, O’Donnell said: “The timing just feels right. Getting to the Rugby World Cup was my dream for so long and I am so glad I got the opportunity to experience the tournament.

“I am ready for the next chapter in my life. I have some plans in the pipeline and looking forward to sharing them in the near future.”

Discussing some of the highlights O’Donnell has experienced whilst wearing the thistle, she said: “My personal highlight has to be playing at the Rugby World Cup in New Zealand in 2022. Ever since I started playing for Scotland, that was always my goal.

“We got close to qualifying for the last two Rugby World Cups but missed out in the last stages, so to be involved in the qualifiers and finally get to play at a World Cup was unbelievable. Although we didn’t get the results we wanted in New Zealand, I made some amazing memories on and off the pitch. Playing against the Black Ferns and facing the Haka was definitely a standout moment.

“Another standout moment was winning our first Six Nations game in six years against Wales at Broadwood Stadium in February 2017. That was an unbelievable feeling and so full of emotion.

“No list of memorable moments would be complete without getting your first cap. A call up the week before to receive it on 15 March 2013, France away in Dijon with a massive French crowd, it was an experience I will never forget.”

Paying tribute to her time representing the Thistle, Scotland Women Head Coach, Bryan Easson, said: “I’d like to take this opportunity to thank Lyndsay for her contribution and hard work over the years whilst playing for Scotland and on behalf of the squad and management, we wish her all the best in her future endeavours.”

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