Leinster's Rhys Ruddock to retire at end of season

Rhys Ruddock has played 228 times for Leinster
Rhys Ruddock has played 228 times for Leinster

Leinster and former Ireland international Rhys Ruddock has announced that he will be retiring from professional rugby at the end of the ongoing season.

Ruddock made his Leinster debut in December 2009 against Dragons and has featured for them in 228 games. He also has won the Pro 14 title six times apart from three Champions Cup and a solitary Challenge Cup title with the Irish province.

The 33-year-old made his Ireland debut in 2010 and has featured in 27 Tests for the national side while also captaining them against the United States in the 2018 Autumn International. He was part of the Six Nations winning Ireland side of 2014.

"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.

"Supporting the Leinster team in Donnybrook as an eight-year-old, while my dad was coach, I could only have dreamed about putting on a Leinster jersey myself. To go on to play my whole career with this team has been a dream come true.

"Leinster has been such a huge part of my life. I have made some of my best friends here, with teammates past and present and had the privilege to be coached by, and work with, the most amazing group of people.

"To have had the opportunity to captain both Leinster and Ireland has been an incredible honour and is something I will always treasure and look back on with pride.

"I am hugely appreciative of the support the fans have given us over the years and have always felt privileged to represent you."