WATCH: Remembering That Heaslip Tackle That Sealed A Six Nations Championship

What a bloody tackle.

Jamie Heaslip today announced his retirement from rugby with immediate effect. Heaslip won 95 caps for his country making his international debut in the 61-17 win over the Pacific Islands in November 2006 and captained Ireland on 13 occasions.

Of his 95 Ireland caps he played the full 80 minutes on 72 occasions illustrating his value as both a player and a leader to the national team. His last appearance in the green shirt was against Wales in the 2017 RBS 6 Nations Championship in Cardiff.

He scored 13 tries for his country including the World Rugby Try of the Year against Italy in 2016. And is one of the most successful players in Ireland’s professional era.  A member of the 2009 Grand Slam winning side he was also a key player in the Championship winning teams of 2014 and 2015.

Following the announcement, Ireland Head Coach Joe Schmidt said:

“Jamie was an intelligent and incredibly robust player. The string of trophies he contributed to is lengthy, including 3 European Cups, 3 Six Nations, including the 2009 Grand Slam and a couple of Pro12 trophies thrown in for good measure. 

There are so many moments that spring to mind, whether it be his superb second half against Northampton in the 2011 Heineken Cup final or his clever line and tireless work ethic that combined to see him score the International Try of the Year two years ago, or his crucial try saving tackle on Stuart Hogg on ‘Super Sunday’, to help tip the balance in retaining the Six Nations trophy.  Utterly professional, driven to succeed and a leader with the actions he delivered.”

Who else remembers that tackle Schmidt mentioned? With less than five minutes on the clock, and Ireland leading 40-10, Heaslip made an incredible try-saving tackle on fullback Stuart Hogg.

Ireland needed to stay ahead of England on points difference to lift the Championship, who were playing after them. And it turns out If Hogg had scored and the try had been converted, Ireland would have lost the Championship to England by a single point.

All the best Jamie. A great servant.

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