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Ulster and Ireland wing Andrew Trimble announces retirement from rugby

The 33-year-old says it is ‘probably the toughest decision that any professional sportsman will make.’

ULSTER AND IRELAND wing Andrew Trimble has announced that he will retire at the end of the season.

The 33-year-old will hang his boots up in the coming weeks after a career that has seen him become Ulster’s most-capped player of all time with 229 appearances, as well as playing for Ireland 70 times.

Andrew Trimble scores their second try Trimble had some great days for Ireland. Source: Dan Sheridan/INPHO

The Coleraine man helped Ireland to Six Nations titles under Joe Schmidt in 2014 and 2015, while he also started on the wing as Ireland beat New Zealand for the first time in Chicago in 2016.

Trimble played in two World Cups for his country, the 2007 and 2011 versions, with his hard-hitting defence, intelligence and work rate always standing out on the wing.

His status as an Ulster legend has been well earned since his debut for the province in 2005 and Trimble said the decision to step away from playing was a difficult one.

“I know that I’ve been incredibly fortunate to have realised not one of my dreams, but two of them; to play for Ulster and to play for Ireland,” said Trimble in an open letter to supporters.

“These have been some of the most fulfilling days of my life and I feel nothing but gratitude for them.

But there’s no way of stopping time – and I see that each day in the lives of my two young children, who are now close to beating me over five metres.

“So I wanted to let you know that this will be my last season playing professional rugby.

“I want to thank the club for allowing me the time and space to think things through before making what is probably the toughest decision that any professional sportsman will make.

“Most of all, I want to thank you – the loyal and dedicated supporters of this special club.

“I know that nothing will come close to the experience of taking the field and hearing you raise your voices in support of the team.

“You stood up for me; I only hope that I stood up for you.

“With deepest thanks, Andrew Trimble.”

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Murray Kinsella

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