Jamie Heaslip Announces His Retirement From Rugby
Hanging the boots up.
Leinster and Ireland number eight Jamie Heaslip has announced his decision to retire with immediate effect. The Kildare native, who made 229 appearances for Leinster since his debut in 2005, announced his decision this morning.
Heaslip has not played since suffering a lower back injury in the warm up to the England Six Nations game in March 2017, which ultimately ruled him out of that game and indeed the rest of the season with Ireland and Leinster.
His last game for Leinster was a few weeks before that when he played all 80 minutes from in 24-24 draw away to Castres in the Champions Cup. Despite an intensive period of rehabilitation since then, he has been forced to retire from the game.
Speaking to leinsterrugby.ie, Heaslip said:
“A lot of players unfortunately don’t get the opportunity to bow out on their own terms but thankfully having taken my time and after medical advice and consultation with my wife and close family, I have taken this decision with my future well-being in mind.
“Since my rugby journey began pulling on a jersey in Naas, to Newbridge College and Dublin University, all I’ve ever wanted was to represent Leinster but I’ve been lucky enough to exceed even my own wildest dreams with a career that I am hugely proud of with Leinster, Ireland and with the British & Irish Lions.
“Playing in the blue, green and red jersey gave me some unbelievable moments, but running out in the white of Trinity in College Park or out of the RDS tunnel and into the Leinster lunatics in the Laighin Pit are memories that are just as precious to me and ones that I will miss dearly.
“I have always said that rugby is just one side to me and that there are other avenues that I am keen to explore and that opportunity has come earlier than I would have liked but I feel that I am in a good place to take that next step.
“There are too many coaches, team mates, players and people for me to mention right now but you have all played a part in my journey and I am grateful for the part played.
“I would like to thank most sincerely the doctors, the physios and the S&C team in Leinster Rugby and the IRFU for their help throughout my career but in particular over the last 12 months. No stone was left unturned by them, or I, as we sought a way back.
“To my wife Sheena, to my parents, my family and friends, thank you for your love and support.
“Finally, to the Leinster, Ireland and Lions supporters. We’ve enjoyed some incredible highs together, and indeed some lows, but it was an honour to represent you all and I hope that I have left all three jerseys in a better place.”