Retirement plan

McInally ready for take off in new career

Stuart McInally (DB)

Retiring: Stuart McInally

Scotland and Edinburgh star Stuart McInally will hang up his rugby boots when his contract finishes this November to pursue a career as a commercial airline pilot.

The hooker – who has 48 caps to date – will bring an end to an illustrious playing career later this year to earn his wings in professional aviation, with McInally already holding a Private Pilot’s License.

One of Edinburgh Rugby’s longest-serving players – having joined the club’s academy in 2009 – he made his professional debut against Munster in 2010, and has appeared 176 times for the club.

McInally is gearing up to the wear the castle on his chest one last time this Friday night as the capital side travel to face Ulster at Kingspan Stadium.

“It was really tough knowing this was the moment to move on,” he said. “I always thought it would be really easy to retire because I’ve always known what I want to do after rugby – become a pilot – but stepping away from the club I love is massive, and it’s been a huge decision.

“However, I feel ready, and this is such an exciting opportunity. I drive under a flight path every morning on my journey into BT Murrayfield and so often see planes landing at Edinburgh Airport. I start to think ‘what is the pilot seeing’, ‘how are they adapting’ – and that itself gets me excited for the next steps in my career.

“I’m now massively excited to pursue a career as a commercial airline pilot.”

Edinburgh Rugby Head Coach Mike Blair said: “Stuart is a club legend and he’ll go down as one of Edinburgh Rugby’s most celebrated players because of his commitment to the jersey and dedication to being the best player he can possibly be for his boyhood team.”

Edinburgh Rugby managing director Douglas Struth added: “From captain to pilot, all of us connected to Edinburgh Rugby wish Stuart the best of luck as he pursues a new and exciting career.”

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