Murphy to call it quits

Tue, 07 May 2013 15:53
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Leicester and Ireland fullback Geordan Murphy announced on Tuesday he will retire at the end of the season.

Leicester and Ireland fullback Geordan Murphy announced on Tuesday he will retire at the end of the season.

The Leicester Tigers captain made his 322nd first-team appearance for the club in the victory over London Irish last Saturday, which earned a home tie in the Premiership semifinals against Harlequins.

He said: “Every player wants to play on forever but, unfortunately, your body just doesn’t let you do that. It’s with a very heavy heart that I have had to accept defeat and announce that I will retire from playing this season.

“I have been very lucky with Leicester to win a fair amount of silverware and I am looking forward to looking back on that at some stage – it still hasn’t really sunk in.

“I have a lot of good memories that I will be able to look back on with great affection. The best part of playing is the players, the mates that I have made through rugby. I’m very lucky that some of my best friends in life are guys that I have met through rugby and played with and played against.

“Welford Road is a very special place, it is very dear to my heart, as are the supporters. I have been here a long time, stayed here when I could have left, and I think the supporters and Welford Road played a huge part in the reason I am still here after 16 seasons.”

Murphy made his Tigers debut in 1997 and has scored 691 points, including 93 tries, in Leicester colours. He has collected seven league titles and two European Cup titles, as well as making 72 senior appearances for Ireland and gaining two Test caps with the British and Irish Lions.

Tigers director of rugby Richard Cockerill said: “Geordan is an all-time great at this club. He has been a major player for us for so long and has had a massive impact on the team in his time here.

“He has played at the very top level of the game for a long time and has been one of the most outstanding players in the history of Premiership rugby.

“Although he has announced the end of his playing career, he will be joining the coaching team here next season and we look forward to his continued involvement.”