London Irish – and former Leinster – star forward Bob Casey took the opportunity at Sunday’s delayed St Patrick’s Day Annual Celebration to announce his intention to retire from the game at the end of this season.
Over the past decade Casey has made 233 appearances for the Exiles scoring six tries. He captained the club between 2007 and 2011 including leading the team in its Heineken Cup semi-final with Toulouse in 2009 and the Premiership Final with Leicester Tigers in 2010.
The 33-year-old played for Ireland on seven occasions and led Ireland A in the Churchill Cup tournament in the United States in 2009. He also played twice for the Barbarians.
Casey is to join Powerday – the principal sponsor of London Irish and ranked among the leading environmental waste management companies in the United Kingdom. Casey will join the company’s senior management team at its north-west London head office in July. He will be responsible for business development including managing aspects of the company’s rugby sponsorship.
Commenting on his decision to retire from the game, Bob Casey said, “I’ve thoroughly enjoyed my rugby career both with Leinster and London Irish and have lots of great memories. I’ve been fortunate to play with many talented players and work with gifted coaches and would like to thank them and the medical staff that have looked after me so well. My special thanks must also go to all the supporters, business and individual, of London Irish in particular, for their exceptional welcome and encouragement over the past ten years. While I will miss them on the field, I hope to keep in contact with them in my new role. In the meantime, there are four key matches to play and I remain focussed and determined to do all that I can to help London Irish secure a place in next season’s Heineken Cup.”
Casey added, “I’m joining Powerday at a time of great opportunity for the business and am looking forward to working with Mick Crossan and his team.”
Andy Martin, London Irish Chief Executive said: “We cannot pay tribute enough to Bob. His commitment to the badge, the game and supporters is second to none. He has been an exceptional ambassador for London Irish and on behalf of everyone at the club I would like to thank him for his outstanding contribution over the last ten years. As captain he led the squad through some of its most successful years, always a role model and a prolific and tenacious performer. Whilst he is retiring and we are extremely sad to lose him as a player, we are absolutely delighted that he is joining Powerday and so will still very much remain part of the London Irish family.”
Mick Crossan, Chairman of Powerday, said, “We are delighted that Bob will be joining us in July. Not only is he a great rugby player, he also has a real aptitude for business. He is universally respected throughout the game both on and off the pitch and that will be invaluable in his new role. Powerday is enjoying unprecedented growth and we are determined to capitalise on the opportunities we have to expand further, Bob will have a key role to play in ensuring that we succeed.”
Source: London Irish RFC