ALLAN JACOBSEN, Scotland’s most capped rugby prop forward, is returning to the club scene next season after a 14-year professional career.
The man known throughout rugby as “Chunk” has decided to join second-tier Watsonians and help the Myreside club push for a return to the top-flight Premiership.
“I just want to keep playing rugby and Watsonians have agreed to be flexible so far as training is concerned as I try to establish my own plumbing business,” said 34-year-old Jacobsen, whose 286th and last appearance for sole pro outfit, Edinburgh, came at the beginning of last month.
Capped 65 times, Jacobsen could even be joined in the Watsonians pack by two other internationalists as the new coaching duo of former Scotland captain, Jason White, and Barry Stewart have been registered to turn out to play, if they are required.
According to Jacobsen, the prospect of linking up with former Scotland colleagues was part of the attraction having turned down offers from elsewhere.
“I not only know Jason and Barry but another member of the Watsonians coaching panel, Marcus Di Rollo, is an ex-Edinburgh team-mate also.
“The connection with the Di Rollo family actually runs deeper.
“Marcus’ dad, Paul, coached me at Edinburgh Under-14 level and he is the Watsonians president.”
It is not unknown for prop forwards to play well into their 40s.
Jacobsen added: “Hopefully there are a few years of rugby left in me without having to cope with the strain of training twice daily as I had to do at Edinburgh.
“I knew my professional career would have to end but I really can’t imagine not playing. It’s a bit of a journey into the unknown so far as setting up the business is concerned and I am currently attending college for a refresher course as it has been a few years since I completed a plumbing apprenticeship.
“That could impact on how much time I can spend at ’Sonians, initially.
“But I do feel I can help bring through some of their younger players as well just as I was assisted in my early days of rugby.
“For me it is now all about enjoyment after years of having everything watched closely.
“Don’t get me wrong, I have loved every minute of my pro career but it is time to play away from that spotlight while trying to do my very best to help Watsonians progress.”
A delighted Paul Di Rollo said: “It is a massive coup for our club to persuade Allan to join.
“He has so much to offer in terms of playing ability and inspiring those around him.
“We started well last season and fell away as injuries took an effect. The aim is to return to Premiership Division One this time around and there’s no doubt Chunk can help.
“The prospect of teaming up with Jason, Marcus and Barry was clearly a clincher so far as we are concerned.
“Barry and Jason have been registered to play so it is not impossible we could see the three of them in the same forward pack.”