Munster’s Marcus Horan announces retirement from rugby

Prop won 67 caps for Ireland and two Heineken Cups with Munster

 Marcus Horan in the middle of a maul against England during the 2009 Six Nations. The prop today announced his retirement from international rugby.   Photograph: Billy Stickland/Inpho

Marcus Horan in the middle of a maul against England during the 2009 Six Nations. The prop today announced his retirement from international rugby. Photograph: Billy Stickland/Inpho

Thu, Apr 11, 2013, 20:00

Marcus Horan has announced his retirement from professional rugby. The Munster prop made the announcement today, 14 years after his provincial debut. He is Munster’s most capped forward with 224 appearances while he also won 67 senior international caps, scoring six tries.

He served as understudy to Peter Clohessy for the beginning of his career, sitting on the bench for the 2000 and 2002 Heineken Cup final s until he claimed the Munster number one jersey for himself in 2002 /03.

He was a Munster regular for the next seven seasons, winning the Heineken Cup in 2006 and 2008 as well as the Celtic League in 2003 and the Magners League in 2010

Horan made his international debut in 1999 and won his first Six Nations cap in the 2002/03 season. He was the starting loosehead in all of Ireland’s games when they claimed the Grand Slam in 2009.

After breaking the news to colleagues today , Horan trained with the Munster squad in CIT, afterwards saying, “Course it was a tough decision to make. No question of that. You don’t walk away from a group like this easily or without sadness. They've been such a huge part of my life.

“But I’m happy giving the options presented to me, it was the right decision for me and my family. I’ve had a great career, I've enjoyed every minute of it and I’m proud of what I've achieved. To that end I'd like to thank all those involved for helping me along the way, be it at club provincial or international level.

“But I couldn't have achieved what I did without the support of my family and I am grateful to them beyond words. I’m looking forward now to being able to spend a bit more time with them. Hopefully give a little bit back to them now.”

“Talking about support, I have to mention the marvellous Munster supporters whose unwavering loyalty down the years was another huge factor in making my career so memorable. Fabulous people.”

Niall O’Donovan was Munster forwards coach when Horan started and is the current Munster team manager. “I’ve known and been involved with Marcus since he was an 18-year-old starting out with Shannon and subsequently with Munster and Ireland as well,” he told the Munster website.

“Throughout that time he conducted himself always with dedication, always in a truly professional manner and in a Munster sense his contribution has been immense. He’s been a great team player, an exemplary squad member, an example to others.

“I understand how difficult it must be for Marcus to make this decision. It’s never an easy one, and it presents a challenge. But I’ve no doubt Marcus will meet that challenge with the same courage he showed on countless occasion in the past both on and off the field.”