Cian Healy has become the latest long-serving Ireland player to sign an IRFU extension, following the trend recently set by Iain Henderson, Johnny Sexton and Peter O’Mahony who all committed their futures to their respective Ulster, Leinster and Munster provinces.
The rub with Leinster’s Healy, though, is that his extension is only for just one year as was the case with Sexton. Now 33, the loosehead is his country’s most capped prop, earning his 107th Ireland cap coming off the bench in Rome in last Saturday’s Guinness Six Nations win over Italy.
It has been an extraordinary landmark for Healy to reach given he was on the verge of retiring from playing in 2015 due to a neck injury causing issues with his nerves and robbing him of movement in his right hand.
He couldn’t even write his own name at the time but he recovered enough to gain selection for the 2015 World Cup and hasn’t looked back since, going on to again become a regular presence in the Ireland and Leinster line-ups. “My drive for success at both Leinster and Ireland is as strong as ever,” said Healy after signing off on his latest deal.
“I’m lucky enough to currently be part of two teams with the same mentality which is special and I look forward to another season of pushing boundaries and achieving our goals. I’m loving my rugby as much now as I did at the very start of my career and looking forward to having our supporters back in stadia.”
— RugbyPass (@RugbyPass) March 3, 2021
IRFU performance director David Nucifora added: “Cian has been a cornerstone of both the Irish and Leinster packs for over a decade. He has shown incredible resilience to come back from serious injury and perform at the highest level. Cian has a lot to contribute to Irish rugby and we are delighted that he has signed on for another year.”
Healy made his Ireland debut against Australia in November 2009 and was selected for the 2013 British and Irish Lions tour of Australia, making two appearances before an injury ended his involvement. He has won three Six Nations titles with Ireland and represented Leinster on 226 occasions, winning four Heineken Cup titles.
Declan Kidney inherited a mess nearly three years ago to the very day at London Irish but he is now the 4th longest serving Premiership club boss, evidence that he must be doing well #PremRugbyhttps://t.co/8OMwF32SH5
— RugbyPass (@RugbyPass) March 5, 2021
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