Thursday 19 April 2018

'You are like the horse in the yard waiting to be put down' - Ex-Leinster star O'Malley on having to retire at 25

16 February 2013; Eoin O'Malley, Leinster, is tackled by Fabio Semenzato, left, and Corniel van Zyl, Benetton Treviso. Celtic League 2012/13, Round 15, Leinster v Benetton Treviso, RDS, Ballsbridge, Dublin. Picture credit: Brendan Moran / SPORTSFILE
16 February 2013; Eoin O'Malley, Leinster, is tackled by Fabio Semenzato, left, and Corniel van Zyl, Benetton Treviso. Celtic League 2012/13, Round 15, Leinster v Benetton Treviso, RDS, Ballsbridge, Dublin. Picture credit: Brendan Moran / SPORTSFILE
Will Slattery

Will Slattery

Former Leinster centre Eoin O'Malley has revealed the moment he knew he had to retire from professional rugby at just 25.

O'Malley was competing with Brian O'Driscoll for the number 13 jersey during Leinster's Heineken Cup-winning campaign in 2011/12 before suffering a horror knee injury that ultimately ended his career in August 2013.

It was a tough blow for the young player who had emerged as a devastating attacking talent under Joe Schmidt, and on this week's episode of The Left Wing, he shares his story with Luke Fitzgerald and Will Slattery.

Listen and subscribe to The Left Wing on iTunes and Soundcloud

O'Malley describes the torment of trying to recover from such a bad injury.

"For my injury, I was trying to rehab it for two years, 18 months, so I had a fair idea it was coming," he says. At that stage you a bit relieved when it comes and you are like the horse in the yard waiting to be put down.

"For me I knew it was coming and it was a bit easier that way. It just dragged for me at the end."

O'Malley also has an interesting description for all the praise that poured in for him when he finally announced that he was hanging up his boots.

"It's like when an artist dies their painting are worth a whole lot more," O'Malley laughs.

"People telling how great I was and I'm thinking 'really?'. It is completely meant with the best wishes and a lot of goodwill."

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Subscribe to The Left Wing, Independent.ie's Rugby podcast, with Luke Fitzgerald and Will Slattery for the best discussion and analysis each week. From in depth interviews with some of Irish rugby's biggest stars to unmatched insights into the provinces and the national team, The Left Wing has all your rugby needs covered.

Listen and subscribe to The Left Wing on iTunes and Soundcloud

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