Leinster wing Barry Daly has called time on his professional rugby career in order to pursue a Master's degree in the United States.
The 27-year-old former UCD man made 36 appearances for his province and scored 19 tries but his last two seasons had seen him hampered by serious knee injuries and Daly will take up the offer of a place on a Master's in Business Administration course at Boston College.
“It was a combination of things, the knee, two years of injuries, I got the opportunity to study abroad,” Daly said of his decision in an interview with leinsterrugby.ie. “I’ve got a scholarship to study in Boston for two years, I’m doing an MBA there.
“I didn’t really know for sure until towards the end of my injury rehab. I was coming back, looking to play and the whole pandemic was just kicking off then.
“Thankfully, Ella McCabe (Rugby Players Ireland) had been on my case hard the last couple of years with all the injury time to prepare for after rugby and she put me on to this scholarship.
“I actually got that fairly shortly after the whole lockdown kicked off so that was pretty much the decision made for me. I wasn’t able to play for Leinster anymore and I’d gotten this incredible opportunity to go and study in Boston College.”
Daly’s last game for Leinster came on April 27, 2019, against Ulster at the end of his third season as a professional after being picked up playing AIL rugby with UCD. He would finish Leinster’s double-winning 2017-18 campaign as leading try-scorer and was an uncapped member of Ireland’s Grand Slam-winning squad.