Ulster's Luke Marshall has announced he will retire

Ulster's Luke Marshall has announced he will retire

Ulster and former Ireland centre Luke Marshall has announced he will retire after 15 years with the province. Marshall won the 2012-13 Pro12 Young Player of the Year award. He also played 11 times for Ireland between 2013 and 2017, having represented Ireland U20s earlier. A knee injury in 2020 sidelined him for 16 months.

The 31-year-old released a statement on Instagram thanking his province, friends and family for helping him becoming the rugby player he turned out to be

The statement on Instagram in full reads:

“15 years and it still feels like yesterday when I started out... This season will be my last for Ulster and my last year playing professional rugby. I’m immensely proud of my career, having represented both my province and my country, and in some ways sad it’s coming to an end but also very excited to start a new chapter in my life.

“I want to give a massive thank you to Ulster Rugby for the career they have given me and, in particular, to the medical staff for the numerous times they looked after me and rehabbed me back to fitness.

“There have been so many people in the organisation to thank through the years, but I must single out Dr Mike Webb, Peter Scullion and Chris McNicholl because, without them, my career duration would probably have been cut in half.

“Starting out for Ballymena RFC in the mini section and then playing for Ballymena Academy is where I gained my love for the sport and John Andrews, who coached me in the 1st XV at Ballymena Academy for three years, is largely responsible for this.


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“Then going on to play for my local club, Ballymena RFC, was an extremely proud moment for me. A club with such a rich history and tradition, one which I grew up watching on Saturday afternoons with my dad, to go on and play for them at senior myself was really special for me.

“Next and most importantly, I must give thanks for all the support over the years from my family. From mom and dad doing taxi services in mini rugby and at school to them following me all around Europe and beyond to be at my games and always being there in person or at the end of the phone to give me advice and support when I needed it most.

"Finally, to my wife Grace, I couldn’t do life or rugby without her. Although at times my harshest critic, she is my rock, and without her in my corner, I probably would have given up long ago on my rugby career. I can’t wait to see what the rest of life has in store for us and the kids!

“Over the years, I have given everything for the jersey, and I hope that has translated onto the pitch in front of the fans and supporters.

“Hopefully I have some more to contribute before the end of the season, but if not, I will leave professional rugby as a proud Ulster and Irishman. Thank you.”