18 May, 15:44
It's down to the wire now for the five contenders who have been shortlisted for the ultimate individual accolade in northern hemisphere rugby, ERC European Player of the Year 2013.
The current Glasgow Rugby captain and former Bath skipper has made over 20 appearances in the elite European competition.
And Nicol regards his greatest achievement as leading Bath to the Heineken Cup in 1998 when the English side defeated Brive 19-18 in the final in Bordeaux, so becoming the first British club to win the tournament.
Click here for John Callard's memories of the 1998 cup winning campaign
Nicol returned to Scotland from Bath in 1999 and has been a tremendous influence on the Glasgow Rugby professional team for whom he has played 71 times.
Glasgow Rugby Chief Executive David Jordan said: 'Glasgow Rugby will be sorry to see Andy leaving our squad as he has been an inspirational player and captain for us.
'There was a possibility of him continuing with us however we fully understand his decision to pursue a new career and everyone at Glasgow Rugby wishes him great success with his new business ventures. Hopefully Andy will continue to play a part with Glasgow Rugby as we have discussed the possibility of him getting involved in our promotional activities.'
Scotland coach Ian McGeechan paid tribute to Andy today. 'He has been a great ambassador for Scottish rugby particularly from the period when the game became professional as he was a role model for the new generation of players.
'Andy was always a delight to coach and he has made a huge contribution to players' understanding and in keeping our game moving forward.'
Nicol celebrates his 32nd birthday on Wednesday 12 March, and has won 23 caps for Scotland over a ten-year period, his first against England in 1992, his last coming against New Zealand at Murrayfield in 2001.
He led Scotland in seven internationals, including that famous Murrayfield victory in 2000, when Scotland scored a memorable Calcutta Cup success over the Auld Enemy, denying England the Grand Slam.
He also featured twice with the British Lions. He joined the 1993 tour in New Zealand as a replacement, fresh from having led Scotland on their tour of the South Pacific, and in 2001 when he was called up for bench duty for the final Test against Australia while he was working as a rugby tour guide.
In announcing his retirement, Nicol said: 'I think the time is right for me to move on and further my career beyond the playing side of the game.