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Former England Ace Forced to Retire

One of England’s longest servants has been forced to retire from rugby earlier than he would have liked due to injury

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(Photo by David Rogers - RFU/The RFU Collection via Getty Images)

Former England international Dylan Hartley has announced his retirement from rugby with immediate effect due to injury.

The 33-year-old Northampton Saints legend has been out of injury for most of 2019 with a knee injury and has now decided it is time to call quits on a glittering career. 

Having made 251 appearances for the Saints, including captaining the side for eight of his 15 seasons with the club, and making 97 caps for England, captaining them on 30 occasions, Hartley is grateful for all the rugby he has played. 

“I am extremely proud of my journey, both with Saints and representing England, but now is the right time to hang up my playing boots. The last few months have been difficult for me both mentally and physically as I have come to terms with the fact that I am no longer able to compete, but I have to thank all the staff at Saints who have all invested so much time in helping me with my rehabilitation, in particular S&C coach Eamonn Hyland,” he said. 

He went on to admit that he never thought that he would have been handed the opportunities he has been given and was full of praise for his club. 

“I have loved my journey in rugby. I came to England as a teenager hoping to get a few games of rugby and to see the world. I could have never predicted that one day I would play 14 years for such a special club and go on to represent and captain England. Northampton Saints has been more than just a club to me. It has been a place that has provided me with direction, purpose, a sense of family, home and belonging; and ultimately a community that I was so proud to represent every time I got a chance to play for Northampton,” he added. 

He finished by confessing he didn’t have the perfect professional career but he loved it either way and thanked his nearest and dearest for their support throughout. 

“My career wasn’t perfect, but I wouldn’t have had it any other way. I’m privileged to have experienced some amazing highs while there have also been some personal lows, all of which are powerful experiences that will stay with me forever. The final chapter of my career was supposed to go a different way, but that is the nature of professional sport. I would not have been able to achieve what I have without the support of my wife Jo, my family, my friends and my teammates. To them all, I am incredibly grateful for their love and unwavering support,” he concluded. 

Hartley has won the Premiership title during his time with the Saints, as well as two European Challenge Cups and an Anglo-Welsh Cup, as well as reaching Heineken Cup final. 

The injury he sustained meant that he was unavailable for selection for Eddie Jones’ Rugby World Cup squad, but even though he hasn’t played for his country recently Jones took time to acknowledge his former captain. 

“Dylan has had a significant international career playing for his country having played 97 Tests, and was a tough, enduring character for us. He was a foundation captain and we owe him a lot for his contribution to the making of this team. We will be forever indebted to him for his dedication and commitment to the team and his love of English rugby,” he said. 

As well as his domestic triumphs he has Six Nations titles to his name for his country, and had an 85% winning percentage as captain. He divided opinion amongst fans throughout his career, but it is certain that he will be missed within the rugby family.


6 Nations

Munster Rugby Announce Contract Deals For Murray, Daly & Gleeson

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Munster Rugby and the IRFU are pleased to confirm contract extensions for Conor Murray and Jack Daly with Brian Gleeson to be promoted from the Academy to the senior squad next season.

Murray and Daly have signed one-year extensions with Gleeson moving up to the senior squad on a two-year deal.

Gleeson is one of five Academy players moving up to the senior squad next year with Tony Butler, Ethan Coughlan, Mark Donnelly and Edwin Edogbo also signing two-year deals.

Conor Murray is one of the most decorated scrum-halfs in world rugby with 116 Ireland caps and three British & Irish Lions tours to his name.

A former St Munchin’s College student, the Garryowen man won his fifth 6 Nations title with Ireland last month and earned his second league title with Munster last season.

The 34-year-old has made 185 Munster appearances and scored 34 tries for the province to date and was named on World Rugby’s Team of the Decade in 2019.

25-year-old flanker Jack Daly came up through the ranks at Castleisland RFC and made his Munster debut against Zebre in 2020.

Daly joined the Academy in 2018, moved up to the senior squad in 2021 and plays his AIL rugby with Garryowen. A former Ireland U20 international, he made his Champions Cup debut against Toulouse in the quarter-final at the Aviva Stadium in 2022.

Brian Gleeson 10/2/2023

Try-scoring number 8 Brian Gleeson leads the charge for the Ireland Under-20s against France ©INPHO/Evan Treacy

20-year-old Gleeson moves up to the senior squad after just one year in the Academy that has seen him score one try in nine senior appearances.

Currently out of action with an ankle injury, he had already made three Champions Cup appearances before turning 20.

The powerful back-row forward was a Grand Slam winner with the Ireland U20s last year. plays his AIL rugby with Garryowen and came up through the ranks at Thurles RFC and Rockwell College.

Images & Content from Irish Rugby & Images © Inpho Photography


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6 Nations

Farrell Names Ireland Match Day Squad To Face Scotland In Dublin

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Head Coach Andy Farrell has named his Ireland Match Day Squad for Saturday’s Guinness Men’s Six Nations clash against Scotland at Aviva Stadium (Kick-off 4.45pm).

Ireland – currently sitting top of the Six Nations table heading into Super Saturday – can clinch back-to-back Championship titles with victory over Scotland in Dublin.

Farrell has named an unchanged starting XV for the Round 5 clash, as Hugo Keenan, Calvin Nash and James Lowe continue in the Ireland back three. Robbie Henshaw and Bundee Aki are once again selected in midfield, with Jack Crowley and Jamison Gibson-Park the starting half-backs.

Andrew Porter, Dan Sheehan and Tadhg Furlong pack down in the front row, with Joe McCarthy partnering Tadhg Beirne – who is set to win his 50th Test cap for Ireland – in the engine room.

Captain Peter O’Mahony is at blindside flanker, Josh van der Flier is at openside and Caelan Doris completes the starting XV at number eight.

The Ireland Coaching Team have opted for a 5-3 split on the bench, with Rónan Kelleher, Cian Healy, Finlay Bealham, Ryan Baird and Jack Conan providing the reinforcements up front, and Conor Murray, Harry Byrne and the fit-again Garry Ringrose the backline options.

Saturday’s match is live on Virgin Media One and ITV, with live radio coverage available on RTE Radio 1.

Ireland Team & Replacements (v Scotland, Guinness Men’s Six Nations, Saturday, March 16, 4.45pm)

15. Hugo Keenan (UCD/Leinster)(39)
14. Calvin Nash (Young Munster/Munster)(5)
13. Robbie Henshaw (Buccaneers/Leinster)(71)
12. Bundee Aki (Galwegians/Connacht)(55)
11. James Lowe (Leinster)(30)
10. Jack Crowley (Cork Constitution/Munster)(13)
9. Jamison Gibson-Park (Leinster)(34)

1. Andrew Porter (UCD/Leinster)(63)
2. Dan Sheehan (Lansdowne/Leinster)(25)
3. Tadhg Furlong (Clontarf/Leinster)(75)
4. Joe McCarthy (Dublin University/Leinster)(9)
5. Tadhg Beirne (Lansdowne/Munster)(49)
6. Peter O’Mahony (Cork Constitution/Munster)(captain)(104)
7. Josh van der Flier (UCD/Leinster)(61)
8. Caelan Doris (St Mary’s College/Leinster)(40)

Replacements:

16. Rónan Kelleher (Lansdowne/Leinster)(30)
17. Cian Healy (Clontarf/Leinster)(128)
18. Finlay Bealham (Buccaneers/Connacht)(39)
19. Ryan Baird (Dublin University/Leinster)(19)
20. Jack Conan (Old Belvedere/Leinster)(45)
21. Conor Murray (Garryowen/Munster)(115)
22. Harry Byrne (UCD/Leinster)(3)
23. Garry Ringrose (UCD/Leinster)(57).

Images & Content from Irish Rugby & Images © Inpho Photography


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6 Nations

Farrell Names Ireland Team To Face England At Twickenham

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Head Coach Andy Farrell has named his Ireland Match Day Squad for Saturday’s Guinness Men’s Six Nations clash against England at Twickenham (Kick-off 4.45pm).

Peter O’Mahony captains Ireland for the Round 4 visit to London, with Hugo Keenan returning to the starting XV after recovering from injury.

Keenan joins Calvin Nash and James Lowe in the Ireland back three, with Bundee Aki and Robbie Henshaw continuing their midfield partnership.

Jack Crowley and Jamison Gibson-Park are retained as the half-back pairing.

In the pack, Andrew Porter, Dan Sheehan and Tadhg Furlong are in the front row, with Joe McCarthy and Tadhg Beirne named in the engine room. Captain O’Mahony is at blindside flanker, Josh van der Flier is at openside and Caelan Doris completes the starting XV at number eight.

The Ireland Coaching Team have selected a 6-2 split on the bench, as Ronan Kelleher, Cian Healy, Finlay Bealham, Iain Henderson, Ryan Baird and Jack Conan provide the reinforcements in the pack.

Backs Conor Murray and Ciaran Frawley complete Ireland’s Match Day 23 to face England.

Saturday’s match is live on RTÉ2 and ITV.

Ireland:

15. Hugo Keenan (UCD/Leinster)(38)
14. Calvin Nash (Young Munster/Munster)(4)
13. Robbie Henshaw (Buccaneers/Leinster)(70)
12. Bundee Aki (Galwegians/Connacht)(54)
11. James Lowe (Leinster)(29)
10. Jack Crowley (Cork Constitution/Munster)(12)
9. Jamison Gibson-Park (Leinster)(33)

1. Andrew Porter (UCD/Leinster)(62)
2. Dan Sheehan (Lansdowne/Leinster)(24)
3. Tadhg Furlong (Clontarf/Leinster)(74)
4. Joe McCarthy (Dublin University/Leinster)(8)
5. Tadhg Beirne (Lansdowne/Munster)(48)
6. Peter O’Mahony (Cork Constitution/Munster)(captain)(103)
7. Josh van der Flier (UCD/Leinster)(60)
8. Caelan Doris (St Mary’s College/Leinster)(39)

Replacements:

16. Ronan Kelleher (Lansdowne/Leinster)(29)
17. Cian Healy (Clontarf/Leinster)(127)
18. Finlay Bealham (Buccaneers/Connacht)(38)
19. Iain Henderson (Academy/Ulster)(80)
20. Ryan Baird (Dublin University/Leinster)(18)
21. Jack Conan (Old Belvedere/Leinster)(44)
22. Conor Murray (Garryowen/Munster)(114)
23. Ciaran Frawley (UCD/Leinster)(3)

Images & Content from Irish Rugby & Images © Inpho Photography


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