Munster Rugby have unfortunately had to announce another player retirement today – prop Darragh Hurley has been forced to call time on his career due to a back problem.
Darragh Hurley suffered a lower back injury in training last October and becomes the fourth Munster player this season to retire from the game owing to injury.
The three others were also forwards – hooker Jerry Flannery and back rowers David Wallace and Denis Leamy. Indeed, Hurley’s retirement comes just a day after Leamy bowed out.
A product of the UCC and Cork Constitution club system and subsequently a member of the Munster Academy, the 26-year-old Hurley won international caps at Schools and Under-21 level.
He earned the first of his 36 Munster caps at the Arms Park in Cardiff in September 2006 and later that season won his first Heineken Cup cap again against the Cardiff Blues at the Arms Park.
The strongly-built prop ended that season with nine starts, including one in the Heineken Cup, ahead of Federico Pucciarello and in February 2008 he was the starting loosehead for Ireland ‘A’ in a game against Scotland ‘A’ at McDiarmid Park.
But that early promise was hampered by injury and there is a huge sense of disappointment that Hurley has had to call it a day at such a young age.
Commenting on the news, Munster CEO Garrett Fitzgerald said: “It is really disappointing to see a young player of such promise having to make this decision. Darragh worked extremely hard to try and overcome his injury difficulties but unfortunately for him and for Munster Rugby, medical advice decided the outcome.
“He was an extremely popular and talented squad member who we wish all the very best to in whatever career he chooses to pursue.”