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Ulster scrum-half Paul Marshall to retire from rugby

By Adam McKendry

Ulster Rugby scrum-half Paul Marshall has announced he will retire from rugby at the end of the season after a 12-year career with the province.

The 32-year old has made 204 appearances for Ulster in a glittering career, scoring 24 tries, while he was also capped three times for Ireland, the last of which came in 2013.

Marshall, a former schools rugby star for Methodist College Belfast, graduated from the Ulster Academy in 2006 and made his senior debut in September of that year against the Newport-Gwent Dragons in the Celtic League.

"Ulster Rugby has been a massive part of my life and I’m grateful to have been involved with the squad for the last 12 years," Marshall commented on his decision to walk away from the sport.

"There’s no doubt that I will be sad to leave as I love the club and the people here. I would love to continue playing, but there comes a point for everyone to move on and seek new challenges and that time has arrived for me.

"I’ve been incredibly proud to represent the people of Ulster and it’s brought great joy to me personally, but also to my family and friends. I’d like to thank those closest to me for the support they have offered throughout my career.

"I’m also extremely thankful to the players, the staff and the supporters for the memories that I will carry with me for the rest of my life. I have met some amazing people along the way and we have enjoyed some amazing moments together."

Ulster's Operations Director Bryn Cunningham, who played together with Marshall in the Ulster team during his playing years, paid tribute to the long-serving No.9.

"Paul has been an absolute pleasure to work alongside," Cunningham said. "I was still playing here when Paul first joined the squad and it’s been brilliant to see him develop into a player that would ultimately go on to represent his home province over 200 times.

"He has delivered some big performances in an Ulster jersey over the years and he can be proud of his playing career. Paul is a very popular member of the squad and his presence will definitely be missed in the seasons ahead.

"I know that Paul has the skills and personality to be a success in his career outside of rugby and I wish him and his family well."

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