Limerick blow as David Breen confirms he will take inter-county break in 2016

Former Treaty captain cites work commitments as he takes a step back from the inter-county game.

Breen has been part of the Limerick senior squad since 2009.
Breen has been part of the Limerick senior squad since 2009.
Image: Lorraine O'Sullivan/INPHO

LIMERICK WILL HAVE to plan without David Breen in 2016 after the former Treaty captain confirmed that he is to take a break from inter-county hurling.

The forward spoke with Limerick boss TJ Ryan this week to inform him that he is stepping away from next year’s panel due to work commitments.

The move does not mark Breen’s inter-county retirement and he indicated that he would be open to a comeback if his circumstances change.

The 30-year-old, who juggles GAA with his day job as a Leinster rugby physiotherapist, is facing a busy winter as his club Na Piarsaigh set their sights on an All-Ireland semi-final.

After missing a chunk of the campaign through injury, he returned from a broken wrist last weekend to help fire the Shannonsiders to a third Munster title in five seasons.

Although Ryan encouraged him to postpone his decision until the end of the club season, Breen wanted to make his intentions clear at an early stage.

“There were a few different reasons but it was mainly work,” he told The42.

“I picked up a few bad injuries there over the last 8-10 weeks which kept me out of the Limerick county final and the Munster championship with Na Piarsaigh.

It just got to a stage where I couldn’t do both at the standards that I wanted. Work was always going to come before hurling for me.

“I was in the cast for six weeks, and I had a fractured shin as well, but that’s healing up pretty well.

“I was limited over the last few months work-wise but it’s not only that. There’s the driving as well. I’m up here three years and that trip from Dublin doesn’t get any easier.”

David Breen celebrates winning with Shane Dowling Breen celebrates with club-mate Shane Dowling. Source: Conor Wyse/INPHO

A Limerick regular since his debut in 2009, Breen was nominated as county captain under John Allen in 2012.

He was part of the side which delivered the Treaty’s first Munster title in 17 years, beating Cork in the 2013 final before losing to eventual winners Clare in the All-Ireland semis.

The work-life balance became a bit more difficult when he moved to Dublin, first to join the Sports Surgery Clinic before taking up his current post with Leinster.

“TJ was always very good in not putting a gun to the head in terms of having to be down for every session or anything like that,” Breen continued.

“Part of him might have seen it coming but he was ok about it.

He asked me to hang on until the end of the club campaign and see where I was at then, but I just thought it wouldn’t be fair to the rest of the Limerick boys inside there that are training, not really knowing my situation.

“I just said I’d make a call on it now.”

He added: “It’s not a retirement. It’s just my situation with work at the moment and my situation might change in the future.

I definitely don’t feel like I can’t stay with the pace physically or anything like that.

“It’s just the situation for me with work and I’d definitely be open to getting involved again if the right situation came up.”

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Niall Kelly

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