Flannery forced to hang up his boots


Rugby: Jerry Flannery has been forced to concede defeat in his battle against a series of long-term injuries with the Ireland and Munster hooker announcing his retirement from rugby with immediate effect. The 33-year-old hasn’t featured since last autumn’s World Cup where he suffered another calf injury.

Flannery did manage to overcome that problem but has since been unavailable due to a back injury “and despite exhaustive and thorough medical treatment” has been left with no option but to call it a day.

"I'm very sad to have to announce my immediate retirement from rugby due to injury." Flannery said this morning. "Since my injury at the 2011 World Cup, I've struggled to regain the level of fitness required to play at this level and after consulting with the medical staff at Munster and at Ireland I am announcing my retirement with immediate effect.

"I would like to thank all the medical staff who have worked so hard on my behalf and shown great patience in dealing with me. I feel incredibly privileged to have played with so many great players with Munster and with Ireland.

“To train hard and win trophies for Munster and Ireland alongside some of my best friends has been an amazing experience. I'm incredibly grateful for all the opportunities rugby has given me to date and i would like to thank all my friends, family,coaches and teammates for their support along the way.

"Finally I would like to thank all the Munster and Irish rugby fans who I have been so proud to represent over the the course of my career, your level of support has been amazing and I can never thank you all enough. It's been emotional!"

Flannery, capped 94 times for his province, won two Heineken Cup titles with Munster and he started four of Ireland’s five matches in their 2009 Grand Slam triumph. Later that year, Flannery was selected for the British and Irish Lions tour only to be ruled out with a fractured elbow suffered in the training camp prior to departure to South Africa.