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Jamie Heaslip.

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

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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."

 

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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.

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Jamie Heaslip and Sheena O'Buachalla are expecting their first child together. The Irish Rugby star announced the big news in an interview with the Irish Mail On Sunday. 

"My wife is expecting so it is an exciting time for us," he revealed.

The dad-to-be has plenty of experience with kids but admitted he is a little nervous about the responsibilities of having his own.

 

Had to check this fella out for ID tonight in @lemonandduke while working behind the bar

A post shared by Jamie Heaslip (@jamieheaslip) on

“I am the youngest of my family and I have eight nieces and nephews. I have had experience of small children but I have always been able to hand them back," he shared.

He added, “This time it’s different as I won’t be able to do that."

We're sure the sports star will be an incredible dad! Huge congratulations to both Jamie and Sheena!

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Less than a fortnight after tying the knot, Jamie Heaslip has taken to Instagram to lament the end of his honeymoon, but not before sharing a stunning snap of himself and his new wife, Sheena O Buachalla, at one very familiar spot in the capital city.

Looking beyond happy, the couple held hands and posed in front of the Guinness Brewery in Dublin's St James's Gate on their wedding day earlier this month, and fans are all over it.

"The honeymoon is most def over, 2 days of @irishrugby camp will do that to u!" the Leinster player wrote in a post which has clocked up thousands of likes this afternoon.

"Thanks for all the lovely messages! Cheers @cillianob for snapping this, a great driver and photographer! Who would of thought it!" he joked.

The newlyweds, who married at University Church at Stephen's Green on August 13th, were inundated with comments following Jamie's upload today.

"Congratulations from Canadian fans!" wrote one while another took inspiration from the shot and tagged a friend writing: "Looks like we need to head back to Dubz ASAP to take a pic like this."

Between his breathtaking wedding and the opening of his new bar with teammates Rob Kearney, Dave Kearney, Sean O’Brien, Jamie has had one seriously busy August.

 

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International rugby star Jamie Heaslip was this afternoon married to his long-term love Sheena O Buachalla.

The happy couple, who have been dating for over five years, said their vows at University Church on Stephen's Green in front of 180 of their nearest and dearest. 

 

A photo posted by Jamie Heaslip (@jamieheaslip) on

Among the well-known faces in attendance are some of Jamie's Ireland and Leinster team-mates.

Indeed the likes of Brian O'Driscoll (although wife Amy Huberman is at home with the kids), Johnny Sexton, Gordon D'Arcy, Luke Fitzgerald and Rob and Dave Kearney should all be celebrating in Dublin right about now.

Jamie, 32, uploaded a snap of him and his 30-year-old bride walking down the aisle hand-in-hand – and we have to say that both of them are looking pretty fabulous. 

Sheena in particular was totally head-turning in a traditional white dress, with a clinched-in waist, full tulle skirt and Kate Middleton-inspired lace sleeves with button detail.

Tullow-native Mr Heaslip proposed to Leinster marketing executive girlfriend last December.

Congrats, guys!

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We've always known Hozier was a fairly sound lad despite his skyrocketing levels of fame, and now he's proven that yet again.

The Bray native is one of a host of Irish musicians and entertainers taking part in RTÉ 2fm's Christmas charity appeal, to raise much-needed funds for the ISPCC.

This Thursday December 3, 2fm will broadcast live from the window of Benetton on Stephen's Green, where hosts of each show will be joined by some huge Irish names.

As well as Hozier – who we're hoping will sing a song or two – other guests include Jamie Heaslip, Vogue Williams, Hometown, RipTide Movement and Angela Scanlon.

So if you have a few minutes free on your lunch break or are in the capital to get some Christmas shopping done, stop by the window and you could find yourself watching Hozier perform live – albeit behind a pane of glass.

If you can't make it to Stephen's Green, you can follow the action live on 2fm between 7am and 7pm, or check out the updates on Twitter and Facebook.

Plus, Hozier will be performing at the 2fm Ball at the 3Arena on December 23rd, along with Little Green Cars, Gavin James, RipTide Movement, Hudson Taylor and more. Tickets for the event start at €45 and are on sale now in aid of the ISPCC.

As part of the campaign, listeners can also enter to win an incredible 3Arena Golden Ticket, entitling them to two tickets to EVERY show in the 3Arena and EVERY MCD open air concert in 2016. Adele, Little Mix, Rihanna… you name it.

To enter – and donate to the ISPCC – simply text 2fmBall to 50300 between now and Thursday afternoon.

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After an unprecedented winning streak, Irish rugby has suffered back-to-back losses – to Wales and England – in the space of just eight days.

But the boys in green, for whom we still have BIG World Cup glory hopes, are clearly in jovial spirits today.

Taking to Instagram, No.8 star Jamie Heaslip posted an EPIC snap of his team-mates alongside the legendary sprinter, Usain Bolt.

Captured is 31-man squad, as well as trainers and coaches, surrounding the Jamacian athlete, who recently successfully defended his 100m and 200m World Champion titles in Beijing.

The group is collectively pulling Mr Bolt's iconic lightning strike pose – with the snap quickly gaining 1,500 likes in less thn hour.

In the accompanying caption, Jamie said it was "great to hear him speak during the week," – implying that the team is very much getting into a winning mentality.

The 2015 Rugby World Cup is being held in England, and kicks off on Friday, September 18.

Ireland begins its campaign the following day – playing Canada in Cardiff. 

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This has to be the best selfie of One Direction’s Croke Park concert – if not the world!

Niall Horan took to Twitter to share a snap of himself posing with some of the band’s biggest fans in the shape of Irish rugby hunks Cian Healy, Brian O’Driscoll and Jamie Heaslip.

Niall posted the photo on Twitter with the message, “Had these legends at the show last night! Brian o’driscoll , @ProperChurch @jamieheaslip !the best selfie I’ve taken ever ! #kings”.

Cian Healy also shared his own snap of the lads on Twitter, and cheekily implied that Niall could take a leaf out of their book when it came to keeping in very….very good shape.

“We need to teach @niallhoran how to squat!!” he wrote, referring to himself and his rugby pals as “#ClosetDirectioners”!

We wouldn’t mind watching that workout!

SELFIE 1D

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