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Ex-Ireland international Tiernan O’Halloran announces retirement

By Josh Raisey
Tiernan O'Halloran of Connacht during the Investec Champions Cup Pool 1 Round 4 match between Connacht and Bristol Bears at the Dexcom Stadium in Galway. (Photo By Seb Daly/Sportsfile via Getty Images)

Connacht fullback Tiernan O’Halloran has announced his retirement at the end of the season after 15 years of professional rugby.


The 33-year-old has spent his entire career with Connacht after making his debut at an 18-year-old in 2009. He has gone on to make 236 appearances for the province, scoring 48 tries, with the most important coming in the 2016 Guinness PRO12 Grand Final against Leinster.

O’Halloran also earned six caps for Ireland under Joe Schmidt in 2016 and 2017. His first cap came in 2016 against South Africa, with his last appearance coming twelve months later against Japan.

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Connacht have already begun preparations for life without O’Halloran by recruiting Irish-qualified Piers O’Conor from Bristol Bears. Though O’Conor is primarily a centre, he is also capable of playing fullback.

“After 15 seasons of an absolute dream come true I’ve decided to call it a day on my rugby career,” O’Halloran said in a statement.

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“I could never have imagined as a 9 year old boy starting rugby growing up in Clifden that I would have experienced the career I was lucky to live!

“I have so many people I’m thankful for along the way, and I plan to thank you all in the near future, but my biggest appreciation has and always will be my Mom and Dad. Both my inspiration and super heroes from being a toddler, you always supported and guided me, and I genuinely struggle to put into words how much you mean to me and my career. Also to my brother Cian and sister Evanne for always being the most supportive siblings.


“To my amazing fiancée Emily and precious son Rían, you guys have been my rock through so much and I cannot wait for our next chapter as a family! To the Connacht family (Clan), I genuinely loved every minute of representing all of you, and I look forward to joining you all at the new Dexcom Stadium in the future to cheer on the lads.

“For the last 15 years I gave it my all for that jersey. I’ve had many highs and lows throughout the journey, but 2016 will always be my most memorable year! From that amazing day in Edinburgh to my first time representing my country in South Africa, I never would have got to that point without the support of my family, friends and teammates.

“I am eternally grateful to all of the coaches and team management I played under throughout my career who always supported and guided me. A massive thanks to the medical and S&C staff over the years who helped me from so many injuries.

“From Connemara RFC through Garbally College and Cistercian College Roscrea, I have embraced every minute of living an absolute dream, and I look forward to being a supporter for years to come.


“Connacht Abu!”

Connacht head coach Pete Wilkins added: “Tiernan should be extremely proud of his career and his impact on the game of rugby in Connacht.

“The Connacht Rugby of today is very different to the one he first played for in 2009, and Tiernan played his part in helping the club on that journey.

“He lived his dream of representing his boyhood club and helping them to silverware, and for that his name will be forever etched in the club’s history. We thank him for his incredible loyalty and dedication, and we will give him the send-off he deserves when his time with us comes to an end.”



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