Leinster’s Eoin O’Malley forced to retire aged just 25
Sad news for the young centre as he is forced to quit rugby due to a knee problem.
Leinster Rugby suffered an unexpected blow today as Eoin O’Malley was forced to retire from the game at the tender age of 25. The Dubliner was a Leinster Senior Schools Cup winner for Belvedere in 2005, alongside the likes of Cian Healy and Ian Keatley and he made his provincial debut in 2009.
This try, against Saracens in 2011 in the Heineken Cup, was a tantalising glimpse of O’Malley’s ability and technique and he would feature more regularly in the following season, especially in the PRO12.
O’Malley never played for the Irish team, though he was in the extended 2012 Six Nations squad and he featured three times for the Wolfhounds.
Last year he was dogged with injuries and after meeting with experts here, in Europe and in the US, he decided to hang up his boots.
In a press release from Leinster, O’Malley says: “It is obviously an incredibly tough reality that I am still trying to come to terms with. After exhausting all options I am devastated to be retiring from the game. But I am so fortunate to have such a great support base. I would like to say a very special thank you to my family, girlfriend, friends and Leinster team-mates who have been so supportive - especially over the last few months.
“I owe an awful lot to my team-mates and all of the staff at Leinster. Naturally, as with any long term injury, you inevitably end up spending a lot of time with the physiotherapists, the strength & conditioning coaches and the doctors, so I would like to say a particular thank you to them. People often refer to modern day sport as a ruthless and cut-throat environment but Leinster have without a doubt gone above and beyond in all aspects, doing everything they could in attempting to help me with my recovery.
“I would also like to strongly thank Michael Cheika, Joe Schmidt and all of the great coaches I’ve played under for their support since my schooldays.
“At the age of 25, it is surreal to be reflecting on your career, especially when I hoped there were many more years ahead for me. Having had a bit of time to reflect on this day coming I look back with real pride; firstly by getting into the Leinster Academy and then progressing up the ranks to a Leinster squad who would go on to have such a successful number of years.
“To have played a small part in my home province’s success is something I dreamt about since I was a child and it will always mean an enormous amount to me. It was always a great honour to pull on the Leinster jersey and they are memories I will never forget.”
Brian O’Driscoll was quick to pay tribute to O’Malley on Twitter too.
Absolutely brutal to see Eoin O'Malley having to retire. Very clever player & a great man to have in your dressing room. #Massiveloss
— Brian O'Driscoll (@BrianODriscoll) August 20, 2013
We wish Eoin all the best.