FORMER Ireland captain Jamie Heaslip has announced his retirement from playing rugby.
The sportsman, who is from Co. Kildare, took to Twitter to explain his decision to retire.
“Time will get us all, but it’s cornered me earlier than I hoped," the 34-year-old wrote on Twitter in a post captioned 'thanks for everything'.
“Every professional sportsperson always hopes to be able to leave their chosen sport on their terms but too often that’s not the case.
“I have had to take on board the medical advice that I have been given and after talking to Sheena and my family I have taken the difficult decision to retire with immediate effect from playing rugby in order to ensure my future well being.
3 Six Nations
1 Grand Slam
3 European Cups
3 league titles
1 Challenge Cup
2 Lions Tours
1 Try of Yearhttps://t.co/246Ux992aW
— Pat McCarry (@patmccarry) 26 February 2018
He added: “I’m very proud to finish my career as a one club man having played amongst some of the best in the game, who are like a family of brothers to me.
“My goal when I started my professional career 14 years ago was to leave the jerseys that I wore in a better place and I hope I have done that.
"I've had the time of my life on and off the rugby pitch but now it's time for the next chapter."
Heaslip made his Ireland debut in the 61-17 win over the Pacific Islanders in November 2006 and made his senior debut for Leinster against the Ospreys in March 2005.
He took over the Ireland captaincy from Brian O’Driscoll for the 2012/2013 season.
Thanks for everything pic.twitter.com/cZpK78vzXu
— jamie heaslip (@jamieheaslip) 26 February 2018