Leinster Rugby have confirmed the retirement of second-row forward Devin Toner at the end of the current season.
Having made his debut for the Blues in January 2006, Toner has gone on to become the province’s most-capped player (276 at time of writing), collecting four Heineken Cup titles, a Challenge Cup title and seven league titles in the process.
Toner, 36 this summer, won 70 caps for Ireland, including three Six Nations winners’ medals and was a member of the 2018 Grand Slam-winning side.
He’s been telling LeinsterRugby.ie that the time to depart the game felt right.
“There is never a right time I suppose and you would love to keep playing but I feel very lucky to have had the career that I have had and I am able to leave the sport that I love and the club that I love, in good health and on my own terms”
“I have been around the club for long enough to understand that not everyone is that lucky, and I feel that the time is right now to focus on that next chapter and of course, spending more time with Mary, with Max and with Grace. They, and Mary in particular, have put their lives on hold to enable me to perform and I couldn’t have done it without them. So now it’s about them and us all enjoying more time together.”
“Everyone from North Kildare, to Castleknock College, to Lansdowne, great coaches, volunteers, teachers, that have helped me and some that still message me and that I would be still in touch with. I am very grateful for all that they did for me. In particular, my old coach, the great Mick Quinn, who made me realise I could become a professional rugby player.”
“That laid the foundation and then it was about building on it and I can’t speak highly enough of the environment that we have in Leinster Rugby and the coaches, the medics and backroom staff and all the teammates that I have had along the way.”
“It’s been brilliant and I have loved every minute of it but I am happy with my decision and I’m excited for what the future holds. I am very much looking forward to starting the next chapter of my life.”