The IRFU would like to recognise the contribution made to Irish Rugby by Jamie Heaslip who has announced his retirement from the game today.
Jamie Heaslip won 95 caps for his country, making his international debut in the 61-17 win over the Pacific Islanders in November 2006 and captaining the national side on 13 occasions.
Of his 95 Ireland caps, the number 8 played the full 80 minutes on 72 occasions, illustrating his value as both a player and a leader to the national team.
The 34-year-old’s last appearance in the green jersey was against Wales in the 2017 Six Nations Championship in Cardiff. He scored 13 tries for his country, including the World Rugby Try of the Year against Italy in 2016.
Jamie is one of the most successful players in Ireland’s professional era. A member of the 2009 Grand Slam-winning side, he was also a key player in the Six Nations title-winning teams of 2014 and 2015.
He played his part in securing Ireland’s first ever win over the Springboks on South African soil in 2016 and, just a few months later, he featured prominently in Ireland’s historic victory over New Zealand in Chicago. He played at two Rugby World Cups, featuring in all 10 of Ireland’s games at the 2011 and 2015 tournaments.
A two time British & Irish Lion, the Naas man made five Test appearances across the 2009 and 2013 Lions tours of South Africa and Australia.
At provincial level, he won three Heineken Cups, an Amlin Challenge Cup and three Celtic League/PRO12 titles with Leinster, and was also shortlisted for World Rugby Player of the Year award in both 2009 and 2016.
IRFU Performance Director David Nucifora said: “Jamie was one of the top players in world rugby over the course of his 11-year international career. He achieved so much in the game but at the same time was a great example for younger players with his professionalism, dedication and application on and off the field.”
Ireland head coach Joe Schmidt commented: “Jamie was an intelligent and incredibly robust player. The string of trophies he contributed to is lengthy, including three European Cups, three Six Nations, including the 2009 Grand Slam, and a couple of PRO12 trophies thrown in for good measure.
“There are so many moments that spring to mind, whether it be his superb second half against Northampton in the 2011 Heineken Cup final or his clever line and tireless work ethic that combined to see him score the international Try of the Year two years ago, or his crucial try-saving tackle on Stuart Hogg on ‘Super Saturday’, to help tip the balance in retaining the Six Nations trophy. Utterly professional, driven to succeed and a leader with the actions he delivered.”
IRFU Chief Executive Philip Browne added: “The IRFU would like to thank Jamie for his outstanding contribution to Irish Rugby. His consistent level of high performance has helped drive the national team to unprecedented levels of success over the past 10 years. We wish him and his wife Sheena well in the next chapter of their lives.”