Foley to retire at end of season
January 22, 2008
Munster's Anthony Foley has announced that he will retire from rugby both club and province at the end of the current season.
Foley, the province's longest-serving player with 192 caps, recorded his 85th Heineken Cup appearance in Saturday's Pool Five decider against London Wasps and helped Munster to the knock-out stages for the 10th consecutive season.
His 23 Heineken Cup tries makes him Munster's leading try scorer in that competition, and his overall total of 44 sees him lead the try scoring list for the province.
In addition he has been capped by Ireland at senior level on 62 occasions.
He made his senior competitive debut for Munster against Edinburgh in October 1994 and won the first of those 85 Heineken Cup caps just over a year later against Swansea in Thomond Park.
Speaking about his decision the 34 year old who led Munster to Heineken Cup victory in 2006 said, "It goes without saying that I have enjoyed my time immensely with Munster. I've had a great career and I would like to say thanks to all those, starting in St Munchin's, then in my club Shannon and Munster for helping me in my career. I don't want to mention names in case I leave people out but my sincere thanks to those who have helped me along the way.
"I'm not sure there is a good time to go, certainly isn't easy to leave it behind but I think the end of this season is the right time to hang up the boots. I would like to thank also my colleagues down the years, acknowledge their contribution in both club and Province and wish the current squad the very best in their endeavours.
Commenting on the news, Munster coach Declan Kidney, " What can you say about an individual like Anthony Foley. His statistics says one thing about him, over 13 years of top flight rugby, but those in the squad and management will remember his influence in the dressing room and his calmness and authority on the field.
"Everyone knows him as a very good player. We know him as a very good man."
But Kidney was quick to caution that, "He's not gone anywhere yet. There's still a lot of rugby to be played between now and the end of the season, and we'll be doing our level best to make it a memorable end to a tremendous career."
The Scotland coach enters his first Six Nations with at least one familiar face to look to for inspiration - Joe Schmidt. He chats to Tom Hamilton
Italy coach Jacques Brunel spoke to ESPN ahead of his final season as Italy coach and tells of his desire to experiment and evolve
"There's no bull with me, I just tell it straight." Tom Hamilton talks to Warren Gatland in an exclusive interview
With the retirement of Adam Jones, Welsh rugby says goodbye to a great player and one of its biggest personalities too, writes Tom Hamilton