Horan calls it a day

Fri, 12 Apr 2013 11:07
Large marcus horan ireland trophi Large marcus horan munster Large marcus horan   brian o dris

Marcus Horan announced on Friday that he will retire from the game as a player at the end of the season.

Marcus Horan announced on Friday that he will retire from the game as a player at the end of the season.

The announcement, made first of all to his colleagues ahead of training in CIT, will bring the curtain down on a marvellous career stretching back 14 seasons that saw him become Munster's most capped forward (224) while also winning 67 senior international caps.

Horan earned his first senior competitive cap in the interprovincial series in August 1999 against Leinster and the first of his 84 European Cup caps came later that season when he came on as a replacement for Peter Clohessy in Munster's 32-10 win over Pontypridd at Thomond Park.

His first European Cup start came three weeks later in the exalted front company of Keith Wood and John Hayes in the historic first ever victory on French soil over Colomiers at Stade les Sept Derniers, an indication of his burgeoning talent, his comfort at playing the second half of that game at tight-head after Hayes retired injured.

He also deputised at No.3 in the subsequent games, the return against Pontypridd; after 23 minutes of the quarterfinal against Stade Francais and again in the famous semifinal win over Toulouse in Bordeaux.

He continued to serve his time to Peter Clohessy, sitting on the bench behind him in the 2000 and 2002 finals but when the 2002/03 season kicked off Horan was wearing the No.1 shirt and made it almost exclusively his own for the ensuing seven seasons playing a crucial role in Munster European Cup successes of 2006 and 2008 as well as League honours in 2003 (Celtic) and 2010 (Magners).

He won his first Six Nations cap that 2002/03 season and was the starting loosehead in all of Ireland's games when they claimed the Grand Slam in 2009.

Acknowledged And respected as one of the finest loosehead props of his generation, his football skills still sees him remain one of Munster's leading try scorers with 11 in the European Cup out of a career total of 30.

Niall O'Donovan was Munster forwards coach when Horan started and ironically is the current team manager as Horan calls time and he had this to say.

"I've known and been involved with Marcus since he was an 18-year-old starting out with Shannon and subsequently with Munster and Ireland as well," O'Donovan said.

"Throughout that time he conducted himself with dedication in a truly professional manner and in a Munster sense his contribution has been immense. He's been a great team player, an exemplary squad member, an example to others.

"I understand how difficult it must be for Marcus to make this decision, it's never an easy one, and it presents a challenge. But I've no doubt he'll meet that challenge with the same courage he showed on countless occasion in the past both on and off the field."

It was business as usual for Horan Friday as he trained with the squad in CIT, afterwards saying: " It was a tough decision to make no question of that. But I'm happy giving the options presented to me, it was the right one for me and my family.

"I've enjoyed my career no end and I'm proud of what I've achieved. To that end I'd like to thank all those involved for helping me along the way be it at club provincial or international level.

"But I couldn't have achieved what I did without the support of my family and I am grateful to them beyond words. I'm looking forward now to being able to spend a bit more time with them.

And he concluded by saying. "Talking about support, I have to mention the marvellous Munster supporters whose unwavering loyalty down the years was another huge factor in making my career so memorable. Fabulous people."

There are currently no matches being played
FIXTURE GMT VENUE
Fri, 06 May 2016
Crusaders v Reds 07h35 Christchurch
Brumbies v Bulls 09h40 Canberra
Griffons v Eagles 15h00 Welkom
EP Kings v Blue Bulls 16h00 Port Elizabeth
Sat, 07 May 2016
Sunwolves v Force 05h15 Tokyo
Chiefs v Highlanders 07h35 Hamilton
Waratahs v Cheetahs 09h40 Sydney
Leopards v Boland 12h30 Potchefstroom
Griquas v Border 13h00 Kimberley
Sharks v Hurricanes 13h00 Durban
Pumas v Namibia 13h00 Mpumalanga
Golden Lions v Free State Cheetahs 13h00 Randburg
Wasps v London Irish 14h30 Ricoh Arena
Worcester Warriors v Saracens 14h30 Sixways
Bath v Leicester Tigers 14h30 Recreation Ground
Gloucester v Northampton Saints 14h30 Kingsholm
Harlequins v Exeter Chiefs 14h30 Twickenham
Newcastle Falcons v Sale Sharks 14h30 Kingston Park
Zebre v Dragons 15h00 Stadio Sergio Lanfranchi
Munster v Scarlets 15h00 Thomond Park
Ospreys v Ulster 15h00 Liberty Stadium
Connacht v Glasgow Warriors 15h00 Sportsground
Edinburgh v Cardiff Blues 15h00 BT Murrayfield
Leinster v Treviso 15h00 RDS
Kings v Blues 15h05 Port Elizabeth
Sharks v Western Province 15h30 Durban
PRO12
MORE LOGS
Team P W D L Pts
Glasgow Warriors 21 14 1 6 71
Connacht 21 14 0 7 69
Leinster 21 15 0 6 68
Ulster 21 13 0 8 64
Scarlets 21 14 0 7 63
Munster 21 12 0 9 58
Ospreys 21 11 1 9 54
Edinburgh 21 11 0 10 53
Cardiff Blues 21 10 0 11 52
Dragons 21 4 0 17 26
Treviso 21 3 0 18 20
Zebre 21 4 0 17 19