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Stalwart Scotland and British Lions prop Tom Smith has today announced his retirement from the international game.

The Northampton Saints player gained 61 caps for Scotland over his eight year international career, the first against England in 1997 and the last also against England on Saturday at Twickenham.

He was the only Scot to start every test of the last two British & Irish Lions tours - to South Africa in 1997 and Australia in 2001 earning plaudits for his performances along the way.

He captained Scotland throughout the 2001 Autumn Tests series and was awarded The Famous Grouse Player of the Season title for 2000-2001.

Smith, who is a tireless ambassador in raising awareness about Epilepsy as patron of the charity Enlighten, has used his own experiences from having the condition to help others and encourage participation in rugby.

With a reputation as the quiet man of the game, he did his talking on the pitch and was a formidable opponent known for his quick handling and loose play as well as his set-piece work.

He said: "It was a hard decision to make but one that I know is right for me and my family and it's definitely the right time to retire. I'm pleased with the changes that have been made recently but it's now time for me to focus on club rugby. I wish the new management and all the players every success in the future."

TOM SMITH (Northampton Saints). Prop. Born 31.10.71 in London. 5ft 10in, 16st 10lbs. Thomas James Smith returned to the Scotland team for their heart-breaking defeat in Paris in the opening match of the 2005 RBS Six Nations having missed all four matches in the Abbey Autumn tests through injury. In 2002 he was immense in both scrum and loose in the Murrayfield win against the Springboks. In 2001 he captained Scotland for the first time in their success against Tonga and carried on captaincy throughout the Tests that autumn. He enjoyed a distinguished try-scoring sequence when he notched his fifth touchdown for Scotland in the September 2001victory against Ireland. He crowned Scotland's second-half fightback in their 28-all draw with Wales in February 2001 with a magnificent try, following on with his fourth international try in the 23-19 success that year against Italy. Understandably, he was The Famous Grouse Scotland Player of the Season for 2000-2001. Smith's second international try capped his Man of the Match display against Samoa in November 2000. He played in 13 of Scotland's 14 internationals during 1999-2000 season and scored his first cap try in the Hampden Park win against Romania. In 1998-99 he made a welcome return to rugby after having missed the entire 1997-98 campaign because of a groin injury. But a further injury, a broken leg, cut short his championship campaign during the match against Ireland in March, 1999. He made his Scotland comeback in that summer's tour to South Africa, playing in all four matches one as a replacement. Smith brought his ball-playing skills to bear on the game's highest stage when he made a magnificent contribution to the 1997 British Lions' 2-1 Test series success against South Africa. He was the only Scot to play in all three Tests. Smith, a product of Rannoch School in Perthshire, represented Scottish Schools on his first steps to representative honours. He has also played for the Scotland Development XV and made a try-scoring debut for Scotland A against the 1996 Australian tourists. He played his club rugby for Dundee High School FP and Watsonians, and after a season with Glasgow Caledonians he joined Brive after the 1999 World Cup then moved to Northampton at the start of this season. Tom was one of three Scots initially selected to join the 2001 British and Irish Lions tour of Australia where he played in all three Tests in the series and contributed to Jason Robinson's try in the third Test in Sydney.

International record: 61 caps. 1997 - E I F. 1998 - SA. 1999 - W E It I Arg R WC(SA U Sam NZ). 2000 - It I F W E NZ1 NZ2 USA A Sam. 2001 - F W E It I T Arg NZ. 2002 - E It I F W R SA Fj. 2003 I F W E It It WC(J USA F Fj A). 2004 - W E Sam A1 A2. 2005 - F I It W E. Points: 30 - 6 tries.