Horgan announces retirement

Shane Horgan

Leinster Rugby have announced the immediate retirement of Shane Horgan with a long-term knee injury.

"Every professional sportsman realises that at some point their career will come to an end," Horgan said.

"I have been extremely fortunate to have played regularly for my province and with Ireland since my debut with Leinster in 1998 and while I am disappointed that injury has forced me to retire now, I know I have been very lucky to have had such a long and largely injury-free career.

"It has been a tremendous honour to represent my province and my country."

Educated in St. Mary's Diocesan School in Drogheda, Horgan represented his native Meath at Minor football level before joining Lansdowne FC upon leaving school.

Boyne right-winger Horgan, 33, won his first Leinster cap against Ulster in August 1998 and he went on to win a brace of Celtic League (2001/02 and 2007/08) and Heineken Cup (2008/09 and 2010/11) honours over the next 13 years.

He made 87 Heineken Cup appearances (scoring 27 tries) and was the first Leinster player to reach the double century cap mark. He made the last of his 207 Leinster appearances (in which he scored 71 tries and 1 drop goal) in the 2011 Grand Final in Thomond Park.

For Ireland, Shane won the first of his 65 caps against Scotland in February 2000 (where he went on to score 21 career tries) and he was selected for both the 2003 and 2007 Rugby World Cups where he would in total make 8 appearances (scoring 2 tries). In all he was a part of three Triple Crown winning sides.

Horgan thanked the IRFU and Leinster, his playing colleagues, coaches and friends in the game and his home club of Boyne RFC for their support during his career.

"My final expression of thanks is to the supporters of both Ireland and Leinster with whom I have shared some special days that I will never forget," he said.

"It is a sad day whenever a player has to retire prematurely, but Shane can look back on his long career with great pride," Leinster Rugby Chief Executive Michael Dawson said.

"A born winner and resilient competitor, Shane's retirement will no doubt leave a void in the group, but I know that his legacy of excellence and athleticism will continue to inspire future generations and we wish him all the best in the future."

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