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Dublin: 11 °C Wednesday 23 October, 2019
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Ireland defender Stephen Ward announces international retirement aged 33

The Dubliner made 50 appearances and featured at two European Championships.

Ward made his senior international debut in 2011.
Ward made his senior international debut in 2011.
Image: PA Archive/PA Images

IRELAND DEFENDER STEPHEN Ward has retired from international football after seven years and 50 caps in the green shirt.

The Dubliner made his senior debut in May 2011 during a Uefa Nations League game against Northern Ireland and would feature as Ireland qualified for two European Championships in 2012 and again in 2016.

The 33-year-old was called into Mick McCarthy’s provisional squad for the upcoming Euro qualifiers against Gibraltar and Georgia, but did not feature in the final 23-man panel announced earlier today.

“It’s with a heavy heart that I have decided to retire from international football,” Ward said on Thursday.

“To represent my country has been a dream come true and the biggest honour I could have had.

“To play in a couple of major championships has been the highlight and the night we beat Italy at the 2016 Euros will live with me for the rest of my life.”

The Burnley full-back made his final international appearance during in a Uefa Nations League game against Wales in September.

“I have been very proud to have played a part in those achievements and I feel this is a good time to move on,” he added.

“There are a lot of good young players and new talent coming through and I wish all of them, Mick [McCarthy] and the staff all the best for the future.

“I’d like to thank everyone – managers, players, backroom staff I’ve worked with and the supporters – and say it was a pleasure to work with each and every one of them.”

Bernard Jackman joins Murray Kinsella and Ryan Bailey on The42 Rugby Weekly as Ireland bid to spoil Wales’ Grand Slam party in Cardiff, and the U20s target their own piece of history.


Source: The42 Rugby Weekly/SoundCloud

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Aaron Gallagher

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