Sport Rugby

Tuesday 11 December 2018

Donncha O'Callaghan to retire at end of this season

O’Callaghan was part of Ireland’s 2009 Grand Slam-winning team and helped Munster to two Heineken Cup and three PRO12 triumphs before joining Worcester. Photo: David Rogers/Getty Images
O’Callaghan was part of Ireland’s 2009 Grand Slam-winning team and helped Munster to two Heineken Cup and three PRO12 triumphs before joining Worcester. Photo: David Rogers/Getty Images
Cian Tracey

Cian Tracey

Donncha O'Callaghan is planning to hang up his boots at the end of the season and so bring an end to his decorated 20-year professional career, writes Cian Tracey.

The 38-year-old's Worcester contract runs until the end of the current campaign and, despite having offers to remain in the game, he has decided to return to Cork.

The Munster and Ireland legend - a two-time Lions tourist - has spent the last two seasons playing in England while his wife and four children have stayed in Ireland.

O'Callaghan was part of Ireland's 2009 Grand Slam-winning team and helped Munster to two Heineken Cup and three PRO12 triumphs before joining Worcester, who are currently embroiled in a relegation battle.

"May will do me nicely," he said when asked if he was planning on playing beyond this season. "It's as definite right now as I can be. I love the game and I want to finish loving it.

"My family need me to be around home an awful lot more and that's not to sound like the cheesiest f**ker of all time. I am unbelievably appreciative of Jenny helping me do what I love.

"Body-wise, I feel good and that's not a bad way to go either, is it? To walk off the pitch and say 'Thanks'."

Peter Stringer turns 40 in December and his short-term contract with Worcester is up at the same time, but O'Callaghan believes that his long-time team-mate will look to keep playing.

"Believe me, he is going to keep going - he is a freak," O'Callaghan added. "I would love to keep going as well but it's just a massive family sacrifice at the moment."

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