Rhys Ruddock is hanging up his boots

Rhys Ruddock has announced his retirement from rugby at the age of 33. The Leinster legend, who has been at the club since 2009, was capped 27 times for Ireland with his final game in 2021.

Ruddock also qualified internationally for Wales but he never switched allegiances.

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Ruddock has said on his decision to retire: “This has been an incredibly difficult decision to make. To retire from playing the game you love isn’t easy, however after 15 years of professional rugby, I feel the time is right for me now and I’m excited for the next chapter.

“Supporting the Leinster team in Donnybrook as an eight-year-old, while my dad was coach, I could only have dreamed about putting on a Leinster jersey myself. To go on to play my whole career with this team has been a dream come true.

“Leinster has been such a huge part of my life. I have made some of my best friends here, with teammates past and present and had the privilege to be coached by, and work with, the most amazing group of people.”

Ruddock has won the Champions Cup three times, the Pro 14/URC six times and one Challenge Cup with Leinster. Internationally he won the 2014 Six Nations with Ireland.

Leinster’s head coach Leo Cullen added: “The Ruddock family have played a huge role in the evolution of Leinster Rugby in the professional era. Rhys’ father Mike was our first full-time professional coach and Rhys was a young boy back in 1997 when I first laid eyes on him!

“He certainly grew up quickly representing Ireland first when he was only 19. I was lucky enough to both play with and coach Rhys. He has been a fantastic player and role model to so many others during his time with Leinster.

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