Gordon D’Arcy: Your identity gets taken away after retiring from rugby

The likes of Scott Penny and Caelan Doris started their ascent in their early teens

James Ryan in action for St Michael’s Collge against Castleknock College in a Leinster Schools junior cup match in March 2011. Photograph:  Morgan Treacy/Inpho

James Ryan in action for St Michael’s Collge against Castleknock College in a Leinster Schools junior cup match in March 2011. Photograph: Morgan Treacy/Inpho

The general assumption is rugby careers are shortening. The hits from increased physicality and the success of the game is narrowing the window to remain a professional.

Not many players will be striding into their 30s anymore. Too much competition, too many alternative options, too many players ready to go straight off the schools block.

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