Leinster Detail Just How Hard Jamie Heaslip Worked To Try & Get Back Playing

Determined.

Jamie Heaslip came “very close” to returning to action and overcoming his back injury, before ultimately deciding to retire, Leinster backs coach Girvan Dempsey has revealed.

The former Ireland and Lions number eight was hoping he could play a part for Leinster this season. But Heaslip shocked everyone yesterday when he announced his retirement from the game with immediate effect.

Heaslip said in a statement that he came to the decision after receiving medical advice which will ensure his “future well being”.

“From my understanding, he was yeah, he got very close,” Dempsey told RTÉ Sport

“He made really good progress, his rehab was going in the right direction but unfortunately he hit a speed bump and it set him back a good long way.”

“Then he’s trying to build himself back up from that. I’d imagine the exact details will come out in the next few days.

“We were very hopeful he was going to get back and play for us. but we realised that as it was moving on, we had to make sure the guys who were available to us were up to speed. We were very hopeful, that he would be back, potentially toward the end of the season.”

Dempsey says Heaslip often found the rehabilitation period to be challenging and frustrating. But says he was the first man in every day, doing everything he possibly could to make a return.

“He would be in here, every morning, very early, before any of the other players, working away on off days, weekends, coming in and working away on physio, doing everything he could to get himself back and he would always pop up to the office, have a chat with Leo, the coaches, he’d have a bit of a joke and a laugh.

“You could look down at the gym though, and see at times, he was getting frustrated. He wanted to move on and get better, but it wasn’t as quick [as he wanted].”