Rhys Ruddock announces retirement

Rhys Ruddock announces retirement

Leinster Rugby back row forward, Rhys Ruddock, has this afternoon announced that he will retire from rugby at the end of the current season.

Ruddock, who has played 228 times for Leinster and has been capped on 27 occasions by Ireland, will call time on a glittering career once the current Leinster season draws to a close in the coming weeks.

The 33-year-old made his debut for Leinster in December 2009 against the Dragons in the number six shirt and since then has been an ever-present in the Leinster back row, and on occasions second row, for Michael Cheika, Joe Schmidt, Matt O'Connor and Leo Cullen.

Less than a year after his Leinster debut, he pulled on a senior Ireland jersey for the first time, against Australia, in the summer of 2010, when still only 19, as a late injury call-up for their tour down under.

 Speaking to Leinster, Ruddock said, "This has been an incredibly difficult decision to make. To retire from playing the game you love isn’t easy, however, after 15 years of professional rugby, I feel the time is right for me now and I’m excited for the next chapter.

Leinster Rugby Head Coach, Leo Cullen, paid tribute to Ruddock today saying,"The Ruddock family have played a huge role in the evolution of Leinster Rugby in the professional era.

"Rhys’ father Mike was our first full-time professional coach and Rhys was a young boy back in 1997 when I first laid eyes on him!

"He certainly grew up quickly representing Ireland first when he was only 19.

"We would like to wish Rhys and all the Ruddock family every success for the future."

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