Eoin Reddan hailed as he announces his retirement
Scrumhalf played in three World Cups and won two Six Nations titles with Ireland
Eoin Reddan in Port Elizabeth during Ireland’s tour of South Africa. Photo: Billy Stickland/Inpho
The list of achievements along with his durability and longevity over a 15-year professional career says much about both the finely honed skills and razor-sharp mind. Eoin Reddan has played close on 400 first-class matches for Connacht, Munster, Wasps, Leinster and Ireland, winning pretty much everything there was to win. Some scrumhalf. Some career. Top bloke too.
In 70 caps (ironically the first was on the wing as a replacement in Paris in 2006) Reddan played in three World Cups, won two Six Nations titles with Ireland, one Heineken Cup and a Premiership title with Wasps and then two Heineken Cups, two Pro12 titles and a Challenge Cup with Leinster. Not bad.
A product of Crescent Comprehensive who played for the Irish Schools Under-18s, Students and A sides, Reddan’s game was based upon speed, be it to the breakdown, his pass or his breaks off the base. The sniping breaks may have dimmed a tad but the intelligence of his game only improved. Tributes A leadership figure too, accordingly tributes poured in for the popular 35-year-old after he confirmed his retirement yesterday on the eve of his final game, on the replacements’ bench for Ireland against South Africa tomorrow.
Joe Schmidt was asked to select his favourite Reddan moment, and came up with two. “To be honest it wasn’t anything to do with me. It was when he dislocated both shoulders throwing the most outrageous dummy I’ve ever seen playing away to Northampton in the Heineken Cup,” he said with in exaggeration of Reddan’s dummy during Leinster’s 40-7 win away to Northampton in December 2013.
“It was the week after we’d lost to New Zealand. It was a pretty depressing week to be honest, and Reddser threw a dummy that honestly, I think he did dislocate both shoulders. His arms went with the ball and he shot through a massive gap and got right away into the clear. I remember that win, and I thought that day Eoin Reddan was as good as I’ve seen him play.”
“Probably the other one was when he captained the team against Romania in the World Cup, and he shot down the short side and put in the most superb, left-footed little grubber kick – because he wouldn’t be great with his left foot as a rule – that Earlsy picked up and scored off.
“And it couldn’t have been much more perfect. Earlsy will probably tell you he had to do quite a lot for the try but he just had to catch it on his chest and fall down. Yeah, they were a couple of really nice touches from him.”
Mike Ross admitted to feeling “a bit sad”, adding: “I’m looking around the dressing room and a lot of my peers are disappearing. Darce retired last year, Jenno, now Reddser. I said: ‘What are you doing to me?’ I thought there was a good chance he’d be around next year but he had a tremendous opportunity he couldn’t pass up, so I understand.” Opportunity
“It’s still a bit sad to see him leave. The opportunity he had was something that wasn’t going to come along again. ‘Aircraft Leasing’ is a bit of an odd thing to be getting interested in but Reddser is always a good man to find an opportunity – especially at the side of a ruck!”
“I think he’ll do tremendously well at it. He’s a very positive fella to have around the place. He used to joke that if he ever lost an arm, he’d be telling me how much quicker he’d be getting to rucks, not having the extra dead weight hanging off him. I was like, ‘How are you going to pass?’ That’s the type of optimistic character he is. I’ll miss him next season but I’m sure we’ll stay in touch . . . ”
Jordi Murphy revealed: “I found out about two weeks ago. Eoin told me and I was very shocked to be honest. I’ve said to people before I feel like he has a lot left in him but obviously you’ve got to respect his decision.”
“He really has been one of Ireland’s standout scrumhalves through the years. It will be disappointing not to have him in the changing room with Ireland and Leinster from now on, but I’ll be looking forward to catching up with him in his retirement.” Along with the retirement of Isaac Boss, Reddan leaves a sizeable void with both Leinster and Ireland.