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Buckley rejoins Kanturk after ending pro career

Published 30/06/2014 | 02:30

Tony Buckley, the former Ireland prop, will play for his boyhood club Kanturk in the All-Ireland League next season. Photo: Brendan Moran / SPORTSFILE
Tony Buckley, the former Ireland prop, will play for his boyhood club Kanturk in the All-Ireland League next season. Photo: Brendan Moran / SPORTSFILE

Former Ireland prop Tony Buckley has announced his retirement from professional rugby – but he will return to play for his boyhood club Kanturk in Division 2B of the All-Ireland League.

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The 33-year-old, 21st 10lb tighthead, who won 25 Ireland caps between 2007 and 2011, left Munster in 2001 to join English Premiership club Sale.

"I have decided to make the tough decision to retire from professional rugby," said Buckley, widely known as 'Mushy'. "I have been in talks with clubs from London and Paris and beyond but will instead play for Kanturk rugby club, the club where I started playing around 18 years ago.

"I would just like to thank my family especially my mother and my wife for all their support throughout my career and the sacrifices they made to ensure I could continue playing until now.

"Also I would like to thank all the coaches and back-room staff who I had the pleasure of working with along the way.

"In all I had a really enjoyable career, travelled the world and played for my country, with a lot of success with Kanturk, Newbridge College, Shannon and Munster.

"I am lucky that I have emerged from professional rugby relatively intact and capable of enjoying my last couple of seasons with the club I started with. For now it's back to civilian life."

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