When the 32-year-old rugby player was forced to retire from the game at an international level due to a chronic wrist injury in August last year, it was the devastating end to his illustrious sporting career. Having spent over a decade in professional rugby, in which he represented Scotland 31 times and played at two Rugby World cups, Rory and his wife Maxine decided to move to Dubai later the same month, attracted by its reputation for infinite possibilities.
The former Scotland International scrum-half hails from a sporting family. The son of Alan Lawson, who was also a former Scottish International player, and the grandson of one of the most revered sporting commentators of all time, Bill McLaren, he had the benefit of generations’ worth of experience when it came to being fully prepared for retirement. “You can’t change the past but you can shape the future. Do it with a smile on your face. You don’t get too many 65-year-olds playing rugby, after all.”
He didn’t waste any time making his mark on the UAE, honing the talent of the region’s up-and-coming youths of the junior rugby league, before being snapped up as a presenter for OSN. “I’m passionate about sport, and I enjoy being involved in it,” he said. Recognising the importance of always having a plan B, however, Rory has the intention of replicating some of his already successful business models, which produce protein ice-cream and omega-3 fish oil, to the region. “We’ll possibly try to bring that to the UAE because it has a number of health benefits for people with type-2 diabetes.”