Monday 10 December 2018

Ireland’s Jamie Heaslip retiring due to back problems

The Leinster number eight underwent two unsuccessful operations.

Jamie Heaslip has been forced to retire
Jamie Heaslip has been forced to retire

By Duncan Bech, Press Association Sport

Ireland number eight Jamie Heaslip has announced the end of his playing career in order to “ensure my future wellbeing”.

The Leinster number eight has not played since being struck by a lower back injury during the warm-up of last year’s Six Nations victory over England in Dublin, a week after completing 80 minutes against Wales.

After two unsuccessful operations, the most recent in late October, the 34-year-old British and Irish Lion has been forced to retire on 95 caps.

“Time will get us all but it has cornered me earlier than I had hoped,” Heaslip said in a statement.

“Every professional sportsperson always hopes to be able to leave their chosen sport on their terms but too often that’s not the case.

“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 in order to ensure my future well being.

“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 to me.

“I’ve had the time of my life on and off the rugby pitch but now it’s time for the next chapter.”

Heaslip was a skilful back row known for a robustness during a relatively injury-free career and leaves the game having won three Six Nations titles and the 2009 Grand Slam.

“Jamie was utterly professional, driven to succeed and a leader with the actions he delivered,” Ireland head coach Joe Schmidt said.

Who is your sportstar of the year?

Vote in the Irish Independent Sport Star Awards and you could win the ultimate sports prize.

Prizes include, a trip to Old Trafford to watch Man United take on Liverpool in the Premier League, tickets to Ireland's home games in the Six Nations, All Ireland football and hurling final tickets and much more.

Simply click here to register your vote

Press Association

Sport Newsletter

The best sport action straight to your inbox every morning.

Editor's Choice

Also in Sport