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Jamie Heaslip announces his retirement with immediate effect

The 34-year-old won 95 caps for Ireland.

Calling it a day: Jamie Heaslip.
Calling it a day: Jamie Heaslip.
Image: Dan Sheridan/INPHO

LEINSTER AND IRELAND back row Jamie Heaslip has announced his decision to retire from rugby with immediate effect.

The 34-year-old has struggled with injury of late and tweeted this morning that he has decided to retire to ‘ensure my future well being’.

“Time will get us all,” the former Ireland captain wrote. “But it’s cornered me earlier than I hoped.

“Every professional sportsperson always hopes to be able to leave their chosen sport on their terms but too often that’s not the case.

“I have had to take on board the medical advice that I have been given and after talking to Sheena and my family I have taken the difficult decision to retire with immediate effect from playing rugby in order to ensure my future well being.

“I’m very proud to finish my career as a one club man having played amongst some of the best in the game, who are like a family of brothers to me.

“My goal when I started my professional career 14 years ago was to leave the jerseys that I wore in a better place and I hope I have done that.”

The Kildare native went on to thank all those who helped him through his career, in which he lined out in 95 Tests for Ireland and made 229 appearances for Leinster since his debut in 2005.

Heaslip hasn’t played since sustaining a lower back injury in the warm up before Ireland and England’s Six Nations clash last March. His last appearance for his country came against Wales in Cardiff.

Cian Healy and Jamie Heaslip celebrate Heaslip and Cian Healy. Source: James Crombie/INPHO

He brings the curtain down on his Leinster career with 38 tries to his name and as the most capped Leinster forward of all-time.

During his time with the eastern province, he won three Heineken Cups, a Challenge Cup and three Pro12/Celtic League titles.

As well as captaining both his province and country, he won three Six Nations titles in green, including the 2009 Grand Slam, and scored 13 tries.

He was twice nominated for the World Rugby Player of the Year Award and his try against Italy in the 2016 Six Nations saw him win the World Rugby Try of the Year Award.

Heaslip was part of two British and Irish Lions tours in 2009 and 2013, winning 12 caps.

“Playing in the blue, green and red jersey gave me some unbelievable moments,” he told leinsterrugby.ie.

“But running out in the white of Trinity in College Park or out of the RDS tunnel and into the Leinster lunatics in the Laighin Pit are memories that are just as precious to me and ones that I will miss dearly.

“I have always said that rugby is just one side to me and that there are other avenues that I am keen to explore and that opportunity has come earlier than I would have liked but I feel that I am in a good place to take that next step.

Ireland head coach Joe Schmidt added:

“Jamie was an intelligent and incredibly robust player. The string of trophies he contributed to is lengthy, including three European Cups, three Six Nations, including the 2009 Grand Slam and a couple of Pro12 trophies thrown in for good measure.

“There are so many moments that spring to mind, whether it be his superb second half against Northampton in the 2011 Heineken Cup final or his clever line and tireless work ethic that combined to see him score the International Try of the Year two years ago, or his crucial try saving tackle on Stuart Hogg on ‘Super Sunday’, to help tip the balance in retaining the Six Nations trophy.

“Utterly professional, driven to succeed and a leader with the actions he delivered.”

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