Ireland and Leinster forward Jamie Heaslip has announced his retirement from rugby following a long-term back injury.
Heaslip has not played since suffering the injury during the warm-up to a Six Nations game against England in March 2017, and the number eight underwent a second operation on his back in November in a bid to save his career.
However, the 34-year-old, who has won 95 caps for Ireland, announced his retirement on Monday in a statement on Twitter.
“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 from playing rugby in order to ensure my future wellbeing.
“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 of brothers to me.
“My goal when I started my professional career 14 years ago was to leave the jerseys that I wore in a better place and I hope I have done that.
“That you to the IRFU, Leinster Rugby, all the coaches, medical staff, backroom staff, sponsors, media, supporters and most importantly my wife, family, friends and fellow players for helping me to make my dreams comes true.
“I’ve had the time of my life on and off the rugby pitch but not it’s time for the next chapter.”
More to follow…