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Irish rugby great Claire Molloy announces retirement from international duty

‘So many memories, priceless highs and some rock-bottom lows,’ said Molloy, who played at three World Cups for Ireland, reaching a semi-final in 2014.

FORMER IRELAND CAPTAIN Claire Molloy has announced her retirement from international rugby.

The 33-year-old flanker confirmed that she is to step away from national-team duty following a 12-year career during which she earned 74 caps and won two Six Nations championships.

“12 years in the green shirt, not the ending I would have wanted,” wrote the flanker, referring to Ireland’s devastating defeat to Scotland on Saturday which saw Adam Griggs’ side miss out on World Cup qualification.

“So many memories, priceless highs and some rock bottom lows,” Molloy continued.

“To all the coaches, physios, team managers, S&Cs and all the backroom staff, thank you for guiding me along the way and often patching me back together at times.

“To the players I’ve shared the pitch with, it’s been an honour. So many fantastic inspiring women I get to call friends.

“To my best supporters, my Mum and Dad, thank you for following me all over the world to watch.

“74 and out.”


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claire-molloy-on-her-way-to-scoring-a-try Molloy scoring a Six Nations try against Wales. Source: Bryan Keane/INPHO

Molloy played inter-county football with Galway — winning an All-Ireland minor title and reaching a senior final, both in 2005 — before switching to the oval ball while studying medicine in Cardiff University. She debuted for Ireland in 2009.

The 33-year-old played in three World Cups for Ireland — reaching a semi-final in 2014 — and won two Six Nations in 2013 and 2015, the latter a Grand Slam. Molloy was also crowned Ireland’s Player of the Year in 2012 and was named the Rugby Writers’ Player of the Year in 2017.

She stepped away from the international setup at the start of 2020 to focus on her career in medicine but returned to the fold when women’s international rugby returned this year following its Covid-enforced hiatus.

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