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Leinster's anchorman Ross leaves the stage


Mike Ross. Pic: Sportsfile

Mike Ross. Pic: Sportsfile

Mike Ross. Pic: Sportsfile

Leinster's list of reasons to capture the PRO12 League increased by one when Mike Ross announced his decision to retire next month.

"Rugby has been a huge part of my life and I've been incredibly lucky to have been a part of some amazing teams," Ross (pictured) said.

"In particular, I'll never forget winning the European Cup in 2011 or the Six Nations championship in 2014."

That certainly looked unlikely when he moved to English club Harlequins to resurrect what was left of his career in 2006.

"I never dreamed having had such a late start in the professional game that I'd go on to achieve such goals, or win 61 caps for Ireland."

For all of the medals and the days of glory, it is the ritual of the changing room that will be most difficult to leave behind.

"I'll miss the camaraderie of the dressing room and the roar of the fans when running out in the RDS Arena or in the Aviva Stadium.

"Unfortunately you can't play forever," he said.

The 37 year-old tight-head, will end his unusually late blooming career for Leinster and Ireland to work for company Wizuda.

"It's time to go in a different direction and I'm stepping out of the rugby bubble and moving into the fast-growing world of technology," he said.

Before all of that, Ross will compete for game time in what Leinster will expect to be a four-game sequence.

Nothing but the pall of injury will remove Tadhg Furlong from the number three shirt leaving Ross to battle it out with Michael Bent for a seat on the bench.

The last thing Ross would want is to finish off his career in his official club suit when he could be wearing the blue shirt.

Herald Sport