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Dublin: 4 °C Thursday 20 February, 2020

After three Ireland caps and 204 club appearances, Ulster scrum-half announces retirement

Paul Marshall will hang up his boots at the end of the current season.

Marshall has made nine appearances this season.
Marshall has made nine appearances this season.
Image: James Crombie/INPHO

ONE-CLUB MAN Paul Marshall has announced his decision to retire from professional rugby at the end of the current season, bringing the curtain down on a career which yielded three Ireland caps.

The 32-year-old scrum-half, who graduated from the Ulster academy before going on to represent his home province 204 times, says he ‘would love to continue playing, but there comes a point for everyone to move on.’

Marshall made his Ulster senior debut against Newport Gwent Dragons in September 2006 and was a regular for the province over the last 12 years, with his form earning him international recognition.

The Lisburn native won his first Ireland cap during the 2013 Six Nations, coming off the bench for Conor Murray during the 22-15 defeat to Italy in Rome. He made further appearances during that summer’s tour of USA and Canada.

“Ulster Rugby has been a massive part of my life and I’m grateful to have been involved with the squad for the last 12 years,” Marshall said today.

“There’s no doubt that I will be sad to leave as I love the club and the people here. I would love to continue playing, but there comes a point for everyone to move on and seek new challenges and that time has arrived for me.

“I’ve been incredibly proud to represent the people of Ulster and it’s brought great joy to me personally, but also to my family and friends. I’d like to thank those closest to me for the support they have offered throughout my career.

Ireland's Paul Marshall Marshall also played for an Ireland XV against Fiji in November 2012. Source: Billy Stickland/INPHO

“I’m also extremely thankful to the players, the staff and the supporters for the memories that I will carry with me for the rest of my life. I have met some amazing people along the way and we have enjoyed some amazing moments together.

Ulster’s operations director, Bryn Cunningham, added: “Paul has been an absolute pleasure to work alongside. I was still playing here when Paul first joined the squad and it’s been brilliant to see him develop into a player that would ultimately go on to represent his home province over 200 times.

“He has delivered some big performances in an Ulster jersey over the years and he can be proud of his playing career. Paul is a very popular member of the squad and his presence will definitely be missed in the seasons ahead.

“I know that Paul has the skills and personality to be a success in his career outside of rugby and I wish him and his family well.”

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