Former Munster Player of the Year James Coughlan announces his retirement from rugby
Former Munster back-row James Coughlan has said that he will retire from professional rugby at the end of this season bringing an end to an 11 year professional career that started with Munster in 2006.
After spending eight years at Thomond Park and amassing 137 caps for Munster, Coughlan moved to the Top 14 in the summer of 2014 where he has spent the last three seasons with Simon Mannix's Pau.
Coughlan confirmed his retirement at a club press conference on Friday with the 36-year-old extending his thanks to all those invovled with Munster, including the fans who he said he had a special affinity for.
James Coughlan annonce la fin de sa carrière: "C'est un choix réfléchie, je suis très heureux d'avoir évolué avec la Section!" pic.twitter.com/8Vn4rppm2I— Section Paloise Béarn Pyrénées (@SectionPaloise) April 28, 2017
"After more than 10 years and over 200 matches with Munster Rugby & Section Paloise (Pau). I have decided to retire from professional rugby," Coughlan told the club's official wesbite.
"I would like to thank everyone that has been involved in my career to date from the coaches at school, Dolphin, Munster to everyone at Pau.
"I had a fantastic eight years at Munster and I thank everyone involved with the province – not just the coaches but the backroom staff and everyone involved in the club, and of course the fans who still have a special place in my heart. I took great pride in winning the Munster Player of the Year in 2011. As I said when I left, to play once would have been an honour, to do it for nearly 10 years was special.
"To my Mam and Dad I just want to say thanks for always being there for me. Starting from walking me to Old Christians on wet September mornings to Mam trying to learn French so she could chat up French men in Montpellier. I couldn't have done it without you. To all my family, brothers, sister, aunt, uncles and not forgetting Nana, thanks for your unwavering support.
"A special mention must go to my wife Katri also who has supported me throughout my career through the good times and the bad times both in Ireland and also in moving our young family over to France three years ago."