The 35-year-old is also Scotland’s most-capped international with 110, while he won one cap for The British & Irish Lions on the 2009 tour to South Africa.
Ford announced his departure from Edinburgh at the end of last season and, after a couple of months of deliberation, he has decided to call it a day and take up a new role as strength and conditioning coach at the Fosroc Scottish Rugby academy.
“I always enjoyed the S&C side of things. It was always a big part of my game and it was something I was good at,” he said.
“Later in my career, I took a big interest in it and it became something I wanted to do after I finished playing, so I was really keen when this opportunity came up, especially being a Borders lad as well.
“There’s a lot of talent here, so if I can help them develop and make this one part of their game world-class then, hopefully, they’ll come through and go on to bigger and better things.
“I’m looking forward to getting in there and passing on some of the things I’ve learned, and show a level of work ethic they can follow and stand them in good stead to be the best player they can be, setting the tone wherever they go.
BREAKING | Rugby’s most capped Scotsman, Ross Ford, today confirmed his decision to retire from playing the sport to take up a role bringing on the next generation of young Scottish players in the Fosroc Scottish Rugby academy.https://t.co/ZMDlc8BJs1
— Scottish Rugby (@Scotlandteam) June 27, 2019
“I’d like to think I’m in a good place to pass a lot of that on, so it’s quite an exciting time. It gives me something to go into with a lot of energy and will allow me to keep getting a buzz from the game.”
Ford started his career at Border Reivers, where he made 84 appearances before the side disbanded.
He joined Glasgow Warriors in 2007 but just two months later, he hopped across Scotland to Edinburgh, where he stayed for the remainder of his career, and in May he was awarded the Guinness PRO14 Chairman’s Award in recognition of his services to the capital.
“I’ve been very fortunate. I’ve had a long career in the sport and have been able to represent my country at the highest level, playing in a lot of great places around the world,” he added.
“I’ve met some characters along the way and overall just feel very lucky to have played a sport that I love and make a living in the process.
“I never had any specific targets in mind. It [reaching 110 caps] just kind of crept up on me. I recognise it as a big achievement but it’s just something that came hand-in-hand with playing the sport.”