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16th Nov 2021

Ciara Griffin shocks us all with decision to retire from international rugby at 27

Patrick McCarry

“It is now time for me to turn my focus to my life outside of rugby.”

Ireland captain Ciara Griffin is retiring from international rugby at the age of just 27.

The Kerry native will line out in what will be her 41st and final Ireland game, this weekend, against Japan before stepping off the international stage. It is expected that she will still line out for Munster in the coming years.

The IRFU released a statement confirming Griffin’s statement this afternoon. The news will come as a shock to many rugby fans in Ireland, and further afield. Griffin commented:

“It has been a childhood dream come true to play for my country. Being afforded the opportunity to captain the National Team has been the highest honour. It has been an incredible journey filled with many highs and lows and I am very grateful for all the life skills I have developed through my involvement in High Performance sport.

“It is a decision I have not come to lightly and after discussing it with my family ahead of the Autumn Tests, it is now time for me to turn my focus to my life outside of rugby and begin a new chapter. I would like to thank everyone for their unwavering support, and I look forward to supporting the team going forward.”

reland captain Ciara Griffin, left, and Lindsay Peat pictured ahead of a Six Nations game with Scotland. (Photo by Ramsey Cardy/Sportsfile)

Ireland coach pays tribute to Ciara Griffin

Adam Griggs, who himself step away from Ireland after the Japan game, was fulsome in his praise of Griffin. He said:

“Ciara stood out to me right from our first training session as a genuine leader and someone that players respect and listen to. She wears her heart on her sleeve and it is that leadership style along with her passion and dedication to making people and the team better that has always been so effective.

“Ciara has led the way with her standards and what it takes to be a first class international, and I know in doing this has inspired so many young players to take up rugby and try to emulate her own journey. Irish Rugby will miss her, and we wish her all the best in retirement and the next chapter of her life.”

In 2020, Griffin spoke to House of Rugby about her time with Ireland and how she was living the dream by representing her country at the highest level.

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