HomeRugbyRugby IrishRhys Ruddock Announces Retirement from Leinster Rugby

Rhys Ruddock Announces Retirement from Leinster Rugby

Rhys Ruddock Announces Retirement from Leinster Rugby

Leinster Rugby’s back row forward, Rhys Ruddock, has announced his retirement from professional rugby at the end of the current season.

Ruddock, who has amassed 228 appearances for Leinster and earned 27 caps for Ireland, will conclude his illustrious career as this season wraps up.

The 33-year-old debuted for Leinster in December 2009 against the Dragons, quickly becoming a key player in the back row and occasionally the second row for coaches Michael Cheika, Joe Schmidt, Matt O’Connor, and Leo Cullen.

Less than a year later, Ruddock made his senior Ireland debut against Australia in 2010 at just 19, after a late injury call-up for their tour.

Ruddock’s leadership has been evident throughout his career, captaining Ireland U-20s to a Six Nations title and later captaining both Leinster and the senior Ireland team. In February 2011, he became the youngest Leinster captain at 20, leading the team against Aironi.

Reflecting on his decision, Ruddock said, “Retiring from the game I love isn’t easy, but after 15 years, I feel it’s the right time. Playing for Leinster has been a dream come true, from supporting the team as a child to making lifelong friends and being coached by incredible people. I’m grateful to the fans, my teammates, coaches, and my family for their unwavering support.”

During his career, Ruddock has been part of six URC title-winning squads, three Champions Cup titles, a Challenge Cup, and was named in the PRO12 Team of the Year in 2014. Internationally, he won a Six Nations title in 2014 and competed in the 2015 and 2019 Rugby World Cups.

Leinster Rugby Head Coach Leo Cullen praised Ruddock, stating, “The Ruddock family has significantly contributed to Leinster Rugby. Rhys has been a fantastic player and role model, showcasing his leadership and competitive spirit. We wish Rhys and his family all the best for the future.”

Ruddock looks forward to supporting his team in the final weeks of the season and embarking on the next chapter of his life.

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