/ Rugby

Leinster centre Eoin O'Malley retires due to long-standing knee injury

Updated: Tuesday, 20 Aug 2013 14:37 | Comments

Eoin O'Malley played 54 times for Leinster
Eoin O'Malley played 54 times for Leinster

Leinster have confirmed that Eoin O'Malley has retired from the game due to a long-standing knee injury.

The 2012/13 campaign was hindered by injuries for the 25-year-old and, although he recovered sufficiently to play five times for Leinster, the knee injury had never fully recovered.

O'Malley was left with no choice but to hang up his boots following consultations with a number of medical teams in Ireland, Europe and America.

Speaking on his retirement, O'Malley said: "It is obviously an incredibly tough reality that I am still trying to come to terms with. After exhausting all options I am devastated to be retiring from the game. But I am so fortunate to have such a great support base.

"I owe an awful lot to my team-mates and all of the staff at Leinster. Naturally, as with any long-term injury, you inevitably end up spending a lot of time with the physiotherapists, the strength & conditioning coaches and the doctors, so I would like to say a particular thank you to them.

"People often refer to modern day sport as a ruthless and cut-throat environment but Leinster have without a doubt gone above and beyond in all aspects, doing everything they could in attempting to help me with my recovery."

"It was always a great honour to pull on the Leinster jersey and they are memories I will never forget" - Eoin O'Malley

The Dubliner played a key role in the province's recent successes in both the domestic competitions and in Europe since debuting in 2009, featuring a total of 54 times.

Although disappointed his playing days are over, O’Malley said he can look back on his career with a great amount of pride and said that it was a dream come true to play for Leinster.

"At the age of 25, it is surreal to be reflecting on your career, especially when I hoped there were many more years ahead for me.

"Having had a bit of time to reflect on this day coming I look back with real pride; firstly by getting into the Leinster Academy and then progressing up the ranks to a Leinster squad who would go on to have such a successful number of years.

"To have played a small part in my home province's success is something I dreamt about since I was a child and it will always mean an enormous amount to me. It was always a great honour to pull on the Leinster jersey and they are memories I will never forget."

Leinster team manager Guy Easterby paid to tribute to O’Malley and the contribution he has made to Leinster rugby over the past four years.

He said: "Eoin's retirement is a significant loss to the squad because not only is he a superb player with a huge amount of talent he is also a great bloke who is well respected by both his fellow players and all the staff here at Leinster Rugby.

"He has been unfortunate in having a couple of serious injuries during his career but he has always shown the utmost professionalism and he has been a real example to all of the players.

"It is sad that a player with so much potential has to end his career at this point, but he does so with our sincere thanks for his contribution to Leinster's success.

"A hugely popular man, he can look back on his career with great pride and we wish him well with the next chapter in his life."

O'Malley was also capped ten times with the Ireland Under-20s and three times for the Ireland Wolfhounds team. He was called into the extended training squad for Ireland's 2012 Six Nations campaign.

User contributions and/or comments do not, unless specifically stated, represent the views of RTÉ.ie or RTÉ.
Click here for Terms of use