Jerry Flannery at a press conference at UL today. INPHO/James Crombie

Closing time: Jerry Flannery retires from professional rugby

A cruel run of injuries has forced the Munster and Ireland hooker to retire at the age of 33.

MUNSTER AND IRELAND hooker Jerry Flannery has retired from professional rugby after conceding that he would never fully recover from the injuries which disrupted the final years of his career.

An emotional Flannery, 33, announced the news at the University of Limerick this morning, bringing a premature end to a career which included two Heineken Cups with Munster and a Grand Slam with Ireland in 2009.

Flannery’s playing time has been limited by a string of injuries over the past two seasons, including a calf injury which forced him out of the 2011 Rugby World Cup after a single appearance in the win against the USA.

During his rehabilitation, he also suffered a back injury and reluctantly took the decision to retire on doctors’ advice.

“I’m very sad to have to announce my immediate retirement from rugby due to injury,” Flannery said this morning.

Since my injury at the 2011 World Cup, I’ve struggled to regain the level of fitness required to play at this level and after consulting with the medical staff at Munster and at Ireland, I am announcing my retirement with immediate effect. I would like to thank all the medical staff who have worked so hard on my behalf and shown great patience in dealing with me.

Born in Galway and raised in Limerick, Flannery started his professional career at Connacht before moving to Munster in 2003. It was at Thomond Park that he established himself as one of the country’s top hookers, and became an obvious successor in the front row following Keith Wood’s retirement.

Capped 94 times by Munster, Flannery made his Ireland debut against Romania in 2005 and went on to appear 41 times for the national side, including four starts in the historic 2009 Grand Slam campaign.

“I feel incredibly privileged to have played with so many great players with Munster and with Ireland,” he said this morning.

“To train hard and win trophies for Munster and Ireland alongside some of my best friends has been an amazing experience. I’m incredibly grateful for all the opportunities rugby has given me to date and I would like to thank all my friends, family, coaches and teammates for their support along the way.

“Finally I would like to thank all the Munster and Irish rugby fans who I have been so proud to represent over the the course of my career. Your level of support has been amazing and I can never thank you all enough. It’s been emotional!”

London calling as Tomás O’Leary agrees to join Exiles

Top man: Lydiate takes home Six Nations player award

Your Voice
Readers Comments
    Submit a report
    Please help us understand how this comment violates our community guidelines.
    Thank you for the feedback
    Your feedback has been sent to our team for review.