Irish international and Lenister back-rower Jamie Heaslip has announced his retirement from rugby on medical advice.
The 34-year-old has said he is ready for the next chapter of his life after a second back operation failed to produce the desired result in November of last year.
Jamie's international career has been filled with spectacular moments. Winning a 95 caps for Ireland, the number eight helped the team win three Six Nations titles, two Triple Crowns and a Grand Slam in 2009.
Time will get us all, but it's cornered me earlier than I hoped. Every professional sportsperson always hopes to be able leave their chosen sport on their terms but too often that’s not the case. 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 well being. 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. Thank you to the IRFU, Leinster Rugby, all the coaches, medical staff,back room staff, sponsors, media, supporters and most importantly my wife, family , friends and fellow players for helping me to make my dreams come true. I’ve had the time of my life on and off the rugby pitch but now its time for the next chapter. Jamie
He was also part of the 2009 and 2013 Lions tours and was nominated for World Rugby’s Player of the Year in 2009 and 2016.
Speaking about his retirement, Ireland head coach Joe Schmidt said Jamie was an “intelligent and incredibly robust player.”
"Utterly professional, driven to succeed and a leader with the actions he delivered."
Meanwhile, Jamie and wife Sheena O'Buachalla recently announced they are expecting their first child together.
"My wife is expecting so it is an exciting time for us," he told the Irish Mail on Sunday.
While we'll miss seeing him on the pitch, we wish Jamie all the best for the next chapter in his life.