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'Rugby rotten from the core'

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Rugby 'rotten from the core' - retiring ex-Ireland lock signs off with a bang

Former Ireland lock Dan Touhy has said that rugby is “starting to look like it’s rotten from the core”, after announcing his retirement today.

The 34-year-old has been playing for ProD2 side Vannes in France, but has taken to Twitter to explain his decision.

He suffered a “freak accident” to his arm in a match earlier this season, which required nine operations, and has caused him to lose “a lot of muscle and sensation in my left forearm where the nerve runs which may never fully come back”.

While the former Ulster man said that he had trained and prepared to make a comeback, he knew “deep down” he was not going to play again.

However, the 11-cap international explained that his retirement statement is not like the usual ones, in which players say “how they’ve loved every second”, as he said “the truth for me is I haven’t”.

Tuohy went on to expound why he has not always loved the sport, saying: “It’s starting to look like its rotten from the core and I’ve a real fear that the values that made me fall for rugby have nearly disappeared, integrity and loyalty is a thing of the past, even a simple gesture of looking someone in the eye has gone, you’ve to have thick skin in this game. Rugby is a business people need to always remember that.

“I had grown sick and tired of the pre-season goal setting of honesty and respect being brandished around only to be broken almost straight away by the same people preaching it.”

This statement is a far cry from the platitudinous messages that retiring players often send out, but Tuohy still considers himself “incredibly lucky” nonetheless.

He said: “As a professional you get paid well, the lifestyle is class, all the bullshit aside it really is a dream job.

“I’ve traveled the world met some great people that now have become lifelong friends, memories that can never be taken away and some absolutely amazing nights out, and really that’s what it’s all about.
“From a skinny 19-year-old from Weston Super Mare to representing Ireland vs New Zealand to now living in France with my wife and 2 kids it’s been some journey.”

After starting his career with Gloucester, Tuohy found success after moving to Ulster in 2009, where he went on to play over 100 games for the province before a move to Bristol in 2016. He was first capped by Ireland in 2010, scoring within minutes of coming on against the All Blacks, and played his final game in Ireland’s 2015 Rugby World Cup warm-ups against Scotland.

In keeping with the unique tone of the rest of his statement, which mirrored his direct style of play, Tuohy also said “The praise part that usually follows such an announcement is normally a welcomed ego boost by the retiree but it doesn’t sit comfortably with me so spare yourself.”

WATCH: Jim Hamilton and Darren Cave give their predictions for what should be a titanic battle at the Principality Stadium this Saturday as Wales take on France.

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Rugby 'rotten from the core' - retiring ex-Ireland lock signs off with a bang
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