Saracens’ former Scotland skipper Kelly Brown to retire

Kelly Brown celebrates Saracens winning the LV Cup in 2015 with Maro Itoje. Picture: JAMIE MCDONALD/

Kelly Brown celebrates Saracens winning the LV Cup in 2015 with Maro Itoje. Picture: JAMIE MCDONALD/GETTY IMAGES - Credit: Getty Images

Former Scotland skipper Kelly Brown has announced he will retire from professional rugby at the end of the season.

The 34-year-old flanker will not be lost to the game though, or Saracens, as he will take up a role as academy coach at Allianz Park.

Brown won 64 caps for Scotland, 14 of which was as captain, and since arriving from Glasgow Warriors in 2010, he has helped Saracens to three Aviva Premiership championships, a Champions Cup, Anglo-Welsh Cup and has made 154 appearances for the Men in Black.

He said: “I always knew this day would come and it seems like only yesterday I was pulling on the black and yellow of Melrose RFC as an 18-year old student.

“Since then I’ve been hugely fortunate to play the game I love at the highest level for the Border Reivers, Glasgow Warriors, Saracens and Scotland.

“Along the way, I’ve met some great people who I can now call friends for life. I have played for four clubs who I care deeply about and to have been able to captain my country is an honour that I’ll always cherish.

“I’d like to put on record my thanks to some very important people who have helped me along the way.

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“Firstly, all my coaches, teammates and support staff from school through to Saracens for their unwavering support and inspiration.

“Secondly, my Mum, Dad and family who taught me so much in not only the game but the values of life.

“Finally, and most importantly, my wife Emily and daughters Amber and Leena for all their love, patience and affection – I truly believe I wouldn’t have enjoyed the career I have done without them.

“I’m forever grateful to be ending my career at a fantastic club like Saracens. Their support for my family and me has been unstinting and I’m extremely excited to be moving into a new role within the club’s academy next season.

“I’ve been lucky to have been able to live my dream for 13-years and now I’m privileged to be able to help others do the same.”

Saracens director of rugby Mark McCall paid tribute to Brown, saying: “Kelly has made an enormous contribution in his seven years at Saracens. On the field, he has been unbelievably consistent setting a superb example to our younger players, constantly giving everything he had.

“Off the field, he is one of the most selfless people you’ll ever meet, always putting the team first - his decency and humility have always shone through in his time here.”

McCall added: “We have been very fortunate to have him at Saracens as a player and it’s brilliant news that he’ll remain at the club as a coach.”