Player’s ankle injury put strain on relationship

Stephen Ferris: Flanker forced to announce retirement from rugby.

Retired Ireland rugby ace Stephen Ferris has revealed that his career-ending crocked ankle also put a strain on his relationship with long-term partner Laura McNally.

The former flanker, 28, was forced to announce his retirement from the game last month due to a persistent ankle problem.

“It was a bit of a relief to (Laura) that I retired, because all I was doing was moaning and complaining,” he said. “I would come home from training and sit with an ice pack on my ankle. We weren’t doing anything but managing the pain and that can put strain on a relationship.

“I couldn’t get up and go to the cinema because my leg would seize up. I had no quality of life,” he said.

Lisburn-born Ferris won 35 caps for Ireland after joining the squad in 2006 and made 106 appearances for Ulster. He featured in all five games during Ireland’s Grand Slam success in 2009.

The popular player’s early departure from the game came as a huge blow to team-mates and fans alike.

Meanwhile, he has been getting plenty of job offers since announcing his retirement. And, while punditry and coaching may feature in his professional future, he won’t be making any major decisions too soon.

He is enjoying hobbies including golf and mountain biking and has no fears of putting on weight.

“I will never get fat. I’ve done so much training over the years that it’s part of who I am. It’s my lifestyle and I enjoy it,” he told Northern Ireland glossy magazine IN.

Ferris also plans to travel the world with Laura for a few months, taking in favourite spots including Australia, New Zealand and South America.

“If I don’t take a break now, I’ll never get it and I think I would regret that,” he said.


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