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Three-time Heineken Cup winner Shane Jennings to retire at the end of the season

The Flanker announced his decision today.

Shane Jennings will retire from rugby at the end of the season.
Shane Jennings will retire from rugby at the end of the season.
Image: Billy Stickland/INPHO

LEINSTER AND IRELAND flanker Shane Jennings has announced his decision to retire from rugby at the end of the current season.

The three-time Heineken Cup winner called time on his 13-year career at today’s Leinster press conference where the openside was named as captain for the visit of Zebre to the RDS tomorrow evening.

The 33-year old won 13 caps for Ireland and, while he is best known for his time with the Blues, also made 60 appearances for Leicester scoring 12 tries.

Speaking at the RDS today, Jennings said:

“[Retiring] has been on my mind for a while to be honest. The last couple of weeks probably solidified my decision. It’s been on my mind for a while. I’ve certainly taken my time to think about it, think about all the options, think about what I’m probably going to leave behind.

“There’s a number of reasons. My body is battered and bruised, but thankfully it’s not too bad. I’ve kind of been preparing myself over the last number of years with IRUPA through educational programmes and mentor programmes, and I’ve got a lot of assistance and a lot of help over the last few years to prepare myself for this. I’m very grateful that I’m going out on my terms.

“I’m very grateful that I’ve been part of such a great club, such a great team. It’s been good times. But thankfully I’m confident I’ve made the right decision. I’m prepared, and I’m looking forward to the next stage of my life.”

Leinster head coach Matt O’Connor paid tribute to his departing player by saying: “It’s been a pleasure to work with him over the last two season. I don’t think think there’s been a bigger contributor to the success of the organisation over the last few years.”

Shane Jennings Jennings in action for Ireland during the 2011 Rugby World Cup. Source: Billy Stickland/INPHO

And in a statement this afternoon IRUPA CEO Omar Hassanein said:

“It is a sad day to see Shane retiring and on behalf of the IRUPA Executive Board, our staff and our wider members, I would like to thank Shane for the immense contribution he has made to IRUPA over the past seven years.

“His commitment and drive to furthering the conditions and playing environment for all our members has been limitless.

“He typifies all that is good about the modern rugby player; a consummate professional on field and in the team room, a dedicated advocate for the players and a role model for all our members in how he conducts his off field career development. We wish him the very best for the future.”

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Steve O'Rourke

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