Jim Hamilton has been reflecting on a superb career after he announced he would be retiring at the end of this season.

Having helped Saracens win the European Rugby Champions Cup at BT Murrayfield on Saturday after a 28-17 victory over Clermont Auvergne the big second-row told the media his decision.

The 34-year-old won 63 caps for Scotland and said: “I got my picture taken in the number five booth [of the home dressing room] with the trophy after the game and I spent eight or nine years in that position for Scotland so it felt right to end it here.

“I had an option to go to London Irish but I feel the time is right to finish.

“It is not a rash decision to bow out after a European Cup final win. I know we have a couple of games left, but it feels like the time is right.

“I won a Premiership with Leicester, two Premierships with Saracens and two European cups. A couple of LV Cups in there as well,” he said.

“Look, it’s always a bit surreal after the game chatting about it but I feel incredibly honoured to play this game. I know I am not the most talented but I have worked as hard as I possibly can and I have made the most of every opportunity presented to me so I am extremely proud to win in Europe again.

“I know where my place is in the team. Maro [Itoje] and George [Kruis] are going away with the British & Irish Lions and they were always going to start, but I have played in every game bar one, over 20 games for Sarries so I deserved to be on the pitch at the end.

“I am good enough to be on the pitch so it is only right that the coach put me on. Obviously the game was won which was fine by me. To be on the pitch and winning it is an amazing feeling.

“It is not about just the 23 guys, Sean Maitland who was injured has been a big part of our success. It is not a cliché to say so has all the backroom staff, the physios, everybody, we are all in it together. We are a big family. Having our kids on the pitch at the end is not a one-off. Every single week it happens, win, lose or draw.”

Thanks to David Gibson/FOTOSPORT for the photo

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