Scotland full-back Ben Hinshelwood is taking a year out from international rugby to protect his long-term health.
The 28-year-old has been restricted in training with his club, Worcester Warriors, due to a back problem he describes as ''chronic'' this season.
The Melbourne-born player, who has 19 caps, believes he is making the right decision for the future.
He said: ''I have a chronic back problem and I need to lessen my training workload rather than the inevitable increase which comes with international rugby and, for that reason, I'm stepping down this year.
''I'm getting physio every day at present and following a different weights programme to everyone else at the club.
''Basically, I'm doing whatever I can to avoid aggravating my back in training.''
Hinshelwood consulted his father, Sandy, who played for Scotland in the late 1960s and early 1970s, over the injury.
He added: ''I've spoken to my dad about it quite a bit and he feels it's the right thing to do.
''We'll see how things are at the end of the year and, if there is a chance to play for Scotland again, then, great.
''But I have to think about the rest of my life beyond rugby too.''
Scotland head coach Frank Hadden has offered his best wishes to Hinshelwood but is hoping the player will be available next season.
Hadden said: ''I have discussed matters with Ben and I understand his situation.
''We would both hope that his back will be better and that we'll be able to consider him next season.''
Hinshelwood returned to the game in time for the 2003 World Cup after breaking a leg while playing for Worcester in January of the same year.
He made his Scotland debut as a replacement against Canada in the summer tour of North America in 2002.