Ireland No 8 Jamie Heaslip has announced his retirement from all rugby following a long battle with a back injury.
Heaslip won 95 caps for Ireland, winning three Six Nations titles, while he also played five times for the British & Irish Lions across two tours, in South Africa and Australia.
The 34-year-old has not played since injuring his back in a Six Nations warm-up game against England in 2017.
Heaslip underwent a second operation on his back in November in a bid to save his career. However, following his failure to get fit in time for the Six Nations, he announced his retirement with a post on Twitter.
‘Time will get us all but it’s cornered me earlier that I hoped. Every professional sportsperson always hopes to be able [to] leave their chosen sport on their terms but too often that’s not the case,’ Heaslip wrote.
‘I have had to take on board the medical advice that I have been given and after talking to Sheena and my family I have taken the difficult decision to retire with immediate effect from playing rugby in order to ensure my future wellbeing.
‘I’m very proud to finish my career as a one-club man having played amongst some of the best in the game, who are all like a family of brothers to me.’
Heaslip made 229 appearances for Leinster since beginning his career with them in 2005, scoring 190 points.
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