Three-time European cup winner Shane Jennings has announced that he will retire at the end of the season.
The 33-year-old Leinster back row says it has been on his mind for a while and the decision has not been taken lightly.
Also, 37-year-old Connacht lock Michael Swift will step down at the end of the season.
The former St Mary’s College man made his senior debut for Leinster back in 2002 and has had a very successful club career, winning honours in Ireland England and Europe.
Jennings has three Heineken Cup winners medals, a Challenge Cup winners medal, two Pro 12 winners medals and an English Premiership title from his time with Leicester Tigers in 2005.
He will captain Leinster in tomorrow night’s Guinness Pro 12 game with Zebre at the RDS.
Jennings says he always wanted to end his career on his own terms.
“It’s been on my mind for a while now and I have taken a while to think about it with all the options and what I am going to leave behind, so it wasn’t taken lightly.”
Despite the success of his club career, Jennings has been no stranger to the treatment table. This season he has only played six times in the Guinness Pro 12.
He says injury wasn’t the only contributing factor in his decision to finish his career.
“There’s a number of reasons and the body is battered and bruised but thankfully it’s not too bad.”
“I have been preparing myself for the last number of years and I am just very grateful that I have been part of such a great club and such a great team and it’s been good times and I’m confident I have made the right decision and looking forward to the next stage of my life.”
One of the main cliché questions players seem to be asked these days is whether there will be a coaching role in their future.
Last year when he was winding down his career, Brian O’Driscoll admitted he had no intentions and Jennings shared that response but says he can’t predict his entire future just yet.
“For the short term there’s no chance and that’s my plan, there’s no jobs for me in coaching, but who knows I might miss it.”
“After a couple of months I might think actually would this be what I am good at or not good at and I am looking forward to trying to sus out.”