The wideman has reportedly told Clarke that the international breaks are currently the only time he gets to spend ‘consecutive’ days with his family in Hampshire.
He also wants to make sure he is fit and available for selection when the Toon require him. Ritchie’s only featured three times this season and hasn’t featured since August.
Newcastle winger Ritchie wants to make way for new Scotland generation
Another part of his reasoning is that he wants to make way for the new crop of Scotland youngster’s breaking through the ranks.
Ritchie feels it is the right time for him to step away from the national team to allow that to happen. His Scotland career ends with 16 caps following a debut in 2015.
Ritchie’s Edinburgh-born father allowed him to play for Scotland. Clarke will have hoped to have seen Ritchie during his Scots tenure but that won’t be happening now.
The Newcastle winger is putting fitness and family first, and by doing so, he has had to sacrifice his international career.