Leinster's Nacewa and Strauss to retire at the end of the season

Leinster's Nacewa and Strauss to retire at the end of the season

By Stephen Barry

Leinster captain Isa Nacewa will retire at the end of the season, bringing the curtain down on a decorated eight years with the province.

Hooker Richardt Strauss will also retire next month.

The duo have been confirmed among six departing players who will be acknowledged at this evening's Leinster Rugby Awards Ball.

Nacewa (35) and Strauss (32) join fellow international Jamie Heaslip in announcing their retirements.

Jordi Murphy is departing for Ulster, while Leo Cullen also confirmed that Cathal Marsh and Peadar Timmins will leave Leinster.

An ever-present in Leinster's three European Cup victories, Nacewa has scored 47 tries among 700 points in 182 appearances since joining in 2008.

The Fijian international retired in 2013, but returned to play for Leinster two years later.

He remains a regular starter for the province, lining out on the wing against the Scarlets in the Champions Cup semi-final win on Saturday.

Strauss has played 154 times for Leinster since 2010, scoring 12 tries. He started both the 2011 and 2012 European Cup wins and earned 17 Ireland caps after becoming eligible in 2012.

Leinster's Nacewa and Strauss to retire at the end of the season

"It is hard to articulate the impact that both Isa and Richardt have had on this club since their arrival," said head coach Leo Cullen.

"Warriors on the pitch and wonderful men off it, they are, in my opinion, two of the best players to have ever worn the blue jersey. Their impact on this group of players will be felt for years to come.

"We will also say goodbye this evening to Peadar and Cathal who have come through the Leinster pathway and are two great examples of that route and the success that can be had if you apply yourself in the right way. I wish them all the very best of luck in their future endeavours."

Cullen insisted it was important to mark the occasion for all those leaving, despite Leinster's clear focus still remaining on chasing silverware.

"It's a difficult one because obviously you don't want to get distracted with so much rugby still left to be played this season," said Cullen.

"But it is important that we formally recognise the impact that these six players have had on the club.

"I think this evening at the awards ball in front of their team-mates, their family and close friends is the perfect time to do that.

"Once that is done, I know they will want everyone to focus on finishing the season as strongly as possible.

"I think for them, and for the rest of us, there is no better way of finishing out the season or your time at the club than that."

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