Jamie Heaslip reaction: What the great and good have said about Ireland legend's retirement
Jamie Heaslip has called time on a glittering rugby career.
The 34-year-old won 95 caps for Ireland, winning three Six Nations titles, including the 2009 Grand Slam. For Leinster, he won three Heineken Cups and three Pro 12 crowns.
A two-time British and Irish Lion, Heaslip made five Test appearances across the 2009 and 2013 tours of South Africa and Australia.
And individually, he was nominated twice for World Rugby Player of the Year, as recently as 2016.
So what has the reaction been?
What they said about Jamie Heaslip's rugby retirement
Ireland Head Coach Joe Schmidt: "Jamie was an intelligent and incredibly robust player. The string of trophies he contributed to is lengthy, including 3 European Cups, 3 Six Nations, including the 2009 Grand Slam and a couple of Pro12 trophies thrown in for good measure. There are so many moments that spring to mind, whether it be his superb second half against Northampton in the 2011 Heineken Cup final or his clever line and tireless work ethic that combined to see him score the International Try of the Year two years ago, or his crucial try saving tackle on Stuart Hogg on 'Super Sunday', to help tip the balance in retaining the Six Nations trophy. Utterly professional, driven to succeed and a leader with the actions he delivered.”
IRFU Performance Director David Nucifora: "Jamie was one of the top players in world rugby over the course of his 11 year international career. He achieved so much in the game but at the same time was a great example for younger players with his professionalism, dedication and application on and off the field.”
It has been incredible to get to know @jamieheaslip as a player and a person. For me he set the standard with professionalism so I did my best to copy him. So many great memories in Green and Blue and looking forward seeing you go well in your next chapter. Thanks Jamie pic.twitter.com/E0WoCNrH7X— Ian madigan (@Ian_madigan) February 26, 2018
Leinster Head Coach Leo Cullen: "I remember seeing Jamie for the first time - he always had something different about him. He was always someone you looked at and said, he's going to make it. Jamie was very good at having a balance but when he was at work, he was at work. He was always pushing himself to get better. He very much set the standard in terms of how he recovered, trained, nutrition etc. He has shown amazing resilience. His ability to rock out for training after really big games, he was always so consistent. It's amazing he's having to retire through injury. It's a sad day in many ways, but it's important we celebrate one of the greatest players to have played for Leinster.
"I remember the day he passed me as the most-capped forward and I thought he would win a tonne more caps. There was so sign of him slowing up.
"The three moments I would pick from his career are Leinster's three European finals. His try in 2009; I can still picture it. He's almost dragging us back into the game where he fights his way over the try-line. In the 2011 final against Northampton, he runs a very clever line, blocks a Northampton defender and gets his pass away to Johnny Sexton. He continues on to prevent the tackler getting back to stop Johnny and Johnny goes on to score a try. Then in that 2012 final as well.
"There's also another moment that's special for me. In my last game here at the RDS, the Pro 12 final against Glasgow, Jamie was captain and he let me and Brian (O'Driscoll) go up to get the trophy even though he should have been the one doing it. He was a great character in the dressing room and we'll certainly miss him. Jamie has delivered excellence. The impact he has had in terms of raising the overall standard and executing on big days, he's very much part of that legacy."
Former Ulster and Ireland star Stephen Ferris: Congrats on a special career big man. Memories that will last forever.
Leinster and Ireland player Cian Healy: Hats off to @jamieheaslip, an incredible servant to the game, roommate, friend and brother. The commitment and professionalism he showed throughout his career is something that any player can aspire to. Been one hell of a journey brother, enjoy retired life!#
Referee Nigel Owens MBE: Best wishes for the future Jamie. A great player on the field but more importantly a great man off it too.
Munster player Robin Copeland: Congrats on a great career and best of luck in the future. A great example of what is possible in this game for young and old players alike!
Belfast Telegraph Digital