A hip complaint that last season restricted him to playing just three RaboDirect Pro 12 games and Munster’s four opening games in the Heineken Cup since he returned from last year’s World Cup has forced Tipperary rugby player Denis Leamy to announce his retirement from professional rugby.
The 30 year-old, son of Anne and Kevin Leamy from Ballyherberry, Dualla, Cashel had signed a two-year contract extension with Munster in February but now joins experienced duo and fellow Munster players Jerry Flannery and David Wallace in calling an early end to his career.
He bows out after an illustrious career that saw him capped 57 times for Ireland since he made his debut in 2005. He was on the team that won the Grand Slam in 2009, as well as winning two Triple Crowns and playing in two World Cups.
He made the first of his 144 Munster appearances in September 2001 and played on the teams that won the Heineken Cup in 2006 and again in 2008, when he scored a try in the final.
The back row forward was the province’s top try scorer in the 2006/2007 season with 7 tries and captained Munster for part of the 2010-11 season in the absence of Paul O’Connell.
Denis Leamy won a medal with the last Junior Cup winning Rockwell College side in 1997 and played on the 2000 Rockwell Senior Cup team that lost to Christian Brothers College from Cork in the final at Musgrave Park. He also lined out with his local club Cashel in the Munster Junior League and UCC in the second division of the AIL.
Speaking after he announced his retirement he said he found it difficult to put into words how much it had meant to him to play for Munster and Ireland.
“It was a dream come true and I was very lucky to play with some of the greatest players ever to wear the jerseys and feel blessed that I was part of successful teams”.