Thursday 9 February 2023 Dublin: 3°C
INPHO/Dan Sheridan Ian Dowling: It’s been a fabulous experience. I’ve made some great friends and take with me really great memories."
# Injury hit
Ian Dowling forced to retire from rugby at 28
Sad news as Munster man calls time on rugby career because of hip injury.

MUNSTER WING Ian Dowling has called time on his rugby career.

The Kilkenny native annouced earlier that a hip injury sustained against Ospreys last September means he will not wear the famous red again.

Dowling told his provincial team-mates of his decision before squad training at Cork IT this morning.

Though gutted, according to a Thomond Park statement, Dowling remembered fondly some of his career highlights.

“It’s been a fabulous experience. I’ve made some great friends and take with me really great memories, the two Heineken Cup wins obviously the highlights. But besides that, I’ve had wonderful times with Munster,” he said.

“In fairness I’ve received all the help and assistance I could have asked for from the Munster medics and I’m hugely appreciative of all the time and effort they’ve put in trying to get me back.

“We’ve explored every avenue possible but in the end I know this is the right decision, the only one really.”
Commenting Tony McGahan said, “To hear the news of Ian’s premature retirement is a blow to everyone at the club. Ian’s  successful career was underpinned by consistency, hard work and honesty.

“These values are highly regarded by the Munster squad and the supporters. Ian’s name was one of the first put down on the team sheet  because of the way he played to his potential every week.

He allowed himself this standard of performance because of the way he approached every day demanding the best out of himself and his fellow players.  He can be proud of his achievements for Munster and the integral role he played in the success of the teams he was involved in.

“As a teammate and friend there wasn’t anything he wouldn’t do. He brought an attitude and application that was in the best traditions of Munster Rugby. I and all in Munster Rugby wish him every success in the future.”

The twice-capped Ireland man will now turn the page on a new chapter in his life, having already begun a degree course in physiotherapy at the University of Limerick.

“I’d have to say I’m excited about this new direction. A lot of the skills that I needed to bring to professional rugby are transferable to what I’m doing now.”

“But again I have to thank the course director who has been so supportive in facilitating my studies while I was also rehabbing this injury.”

“I’ve been fortunate really. I had a great career as a professional rugby player. Enjoyed success with Munster. Got to travel the world. And am lucky now to be in the position I’m in with a new career hopefully beckoning.”

“But there is a lesson here for all those looking to follow a pro rugby path. It can end abruptly. Keep that in your mind if you’re sitting in a classroom with only dreams of playing in Thomond Park,” he added.

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The Shannon RFC man won 97 competitive caps for the Thomond Park outfit, playing in both the 2006 and 2008 Heineken Cup final wins. He also won a Magners League medal in 2009.  He was a try-scorer in the memorable 2008 quarter-final win over Gloucester at Kingsholm.

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