Aviva Premiership

Cusiter turns to whisky after ending rugby career

Sale Sharks scrum-half Chris Cusiter has retired from professional rugby with immediate effect to pursue a business opportunity in America specialising in selling Scottish whisky.

The former Scotland playmaker won 70 caps for his country and also toured New Zealand with the British and Irish Lions 11 years ago.

Cusiter, who joined Premiership side Sale from Glasgow Warriors before the start of last season, has ended his long career in order to start a new life in California.

The 33-year-old won the Top 14 title with Perpignan seven years and played in the 2014 Pro12 final during his time with Glasgow and is ready to focus on filling the top shelf Stateside rather than his trophy cabinet.

He said: "Some of the greatest times of my life have been spent with team-mates in the changing rooms after great victories and I know that it will be difficult to replace those kinds of feelings.

"I'm looking forward to the challenge, however. I have always been aware of the finite nature of a career in professional rugby, particularly given some of the injuries I picked up, and this is the right time to hang up my boots and move onto the next challenge.

"Now is the time for me to move forward, to something I have been working on alongside my rugby career.

"I've been fascinated by the Scotch whisky industry for the past few years and firmly believe that it is Scotland's finest and greatest export and something to be very proud of.

"I am excited to be involved with a product that I am so passionate about. We will be building an alcohol retail business based in Los Angeles - specialising in craft beer, fine wine and craft spirits with a big focus on Scotch whisky.

"I cannot wait for the next chapter for me and my family as we embark upon this new adventure in California."