London Scottish Club captain Lewis Calder has announced his retirement from professional rugby in order to pursue a career in law.
The 25-year-old is set to take up a training contract with White and Case LLP early next year meaning he will bring the curtain down on his four year stint at London Scottish.
Lewis was educated at Stewarts Melville College and won the Scottish Schools Cup before going on to represent Scotland Under-18s in the Home Nations Championship.
On leaving school he went to Durham University to study law during which time he was a member of the Newcastle Falcons Academy and captained Scotland Under-20s in the Six Nations and World Cup.
After graduating, Lewis joined Exeter Chiefs, enjoying a period on loan at Redruth where he played alongside current London Scottish 1st team captain Mark Bright.
A stint playing for Scotland 7s on the IRB World Sevens circuit followed before Lewis joined London Scottish in the summer of 2010, scoring 15 tries in his first season including the opening try in the Club’s memorable victory over Barking which secured promotion on the last day of the season.
Injury has frustrated the flanker, turned hooker, in recent times and a lower back injury which needed operated on earlier this season has hastened his decision to hang up the rugby boots in a professional capacity.
He said: “My recent injury has struggled to heal. It was supposed to take six weeks but that’s now five months with no end date, hence my decision to retire.
“I would hate to think I will never play rugby again and I’m hopeful I will be able to play in the future.
“But it’s time to go down a different route and I’m looking forward to starting a career in law.”
He continued: “I don’t want to give away too much before my End of Season speech next Friday but I have had a fantastic time at London Scottish.
“I will leave with great memories and I wish the Club really well in the future.
“From today I am a London Scottish supporter watching on from the sidelines.”
London Scottish Chief executive Kenny Baillie said: “Lewis has been a fantastic player and ambassador for London Scottish and Scottish Rugby over the years.
“His contribution to our Incredible Journey has been immense and while he was frustrated with injury last season, Lewis’s presence around the Club has always been a hugely positive one.
“Everyone at London Scottish wishes him well in his new career and I’m sure we’ll see plenty of him in the future.”
Looking back at his most memorable moments at Scottish it was not hard for Lewis to pick the match which will live long in the memory.
“Of course the stand out was the win over Barking in my first season when David Howells’ late try earned us promotion,” he recalls.
“What people tend to forget is I scored the first try in that game!
“Other highlights were the win over London Welsh in the B&I Cup this season when I was starting my first game at hooker.
“Running Newcastle close last season and beating Pirates away and Nottingham in recent seasons was also satisfying.
“It has been a great journey and after a couple of years consolidating in the Championship the Club is now in a position to push on after finishing fifth this season.
“The top four was a stretch goal this year but I think it is a more realistic target next season.
“Already the Club has announced some really promising new signings and I expect that to continue over the next few weeks.”
– Lewis Calder will be guest speaker at the London Scottish End of Season Dinner which will be held on Friday, May 9 in the Members’ Bar at the Athletic Ground. For full details on the dinner, click here.