Rugby - Cairns, Lawrie hang up boots

Long-serving Edinburgh duo Ben Cairns and Steven Lawrie have been forced to retire from rugby due to long-term knee injuries.

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Rugby - Cairns, Lawrie hang up boots
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Edinburgh's Ben Cairns has been forced to retire as a result of a serious knee injury

Hooker Lawrie, 30, had two stints with the club after joining as an apprentice in 2005 and went on to win his sole Scotland cap against Samoa last year.

Centre Cairns, 28, moved to Murrayfield from Currie RFC in 2005 and ends his career with eight caps for the Dark Blues.

But both men have been forced to admit defeat in their search for full fitness.

Lawrie said : "I'm gutted to bow out at a stage where I still feel like I'm just reaching my prime as a hooker but, being philosophical about it, I had the opportunity to do a job I absolutely loved for eight years.

"I was always looking forward to the next game and would have liked to have kicked on after getting my first cap for Scotland.

"I'm very proud of the performances I put in for Edinburgh Rugby - our 2012 run in the Heineken Cup, for being in the first Scotland A squad to beat the England Saxons south of the border and playing for Scotland was massive.

"I'm now ready for the challenge ahead, which will be teaching and coaching. I still have the rugby bug and want to coach at as high a level as I'm able."

Cairns also admitted he was having difficulties coming to terms with the fact his career was over.

"I'm going through mixed emotions at the moment," he said. "On one hand I'm relieved because I know where I stand but then, when I finally made the call and walked out of the changing room for the last time, it still felt really sudden.

"The frustrating thing is that I haven't been able to decide when I finish so I still feel I have some unfinished business.

"My cruciate ligament injury came at a really bad time, just after I wasn't selected for the 2011 Rugby World Cup, and I feel like my prime was taken away from me.

"As a kid, the one thing I wanted to do was play for Scotland and I lived that dream. I really enjoyed my time with Edinburgh Rugby and feel like I did a lot, but there is still more I would have liked to achieve.

"I'm keen to pursue coaching as much as I can. I'm really enjoying it at the moment at this level and I'm keen to see if that continues as a career option."

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