KERRY rugby star and the current captain of Ireland’s women’s team, Ciara Griffin, has announced her retirement from the international rugby in the prime of her career.
Still just 27 years of age, she will be hanging up her green jersey after Saturday’s Autumn Test against Japan at the RDS.
The brilliant back-row star has still to confirm whether she will continue to play with UL Bohemians and Munster beyond the end of this year.
Explaining the reasoning for her decision, Griffin said, like many others, the pandemic made he re-evaluate a lot of things in her life
“It is a decision I have not come to lightly and after discussing it with my family ahead of the Autumn Tests, it is now time for me to turn my focus to my life outside of rugby and begin a new chapter.
“I would like to thank everyone for their unwavering support and I look forward to supporting the team going forward.
“I’ve given my life to this game. I’ve literally given everything to it. It’s just time to focus now on my next chapter and put my family first for a change as well.”
Griffin, who has captained Ireland since 2018, will win her 41st cap this weekend.
Paying tribute to the Kerry woman, the IRFU said she has been a totemic figure for Ireland in the back row, demonstrating outstanding leadership qualities through her on-field performances and, off the pitch, in inspiring a new generation of players.
A natural leader, Griffin’s passion for the green jersey has been evident since her Test debut against Wales in the 2016 Women’s Six Nations and since then the Bsallymac woman has become a standard bearer on and off the field, driving others around her and producing some memorable performances for Ireland.
Ireland head coach, Adam Griggs, commented: “Ciara stood out to me right from our first training session as a genuine leader and someone that players respect and listen to.
“She wears her heart on her sleeve and it is that leadership style along with her passion and dedication to making people and the team better that has always been so effective,” he said.
“Ciara has led the way with her standards and what it takes to be a first class international, and I know in doing this has inspired so many young players to take up rugby and try to emulate her own journey.
“Irish Rugby will miss her, and we wish her all the best in retirement and the next chapter of her life,” Griggs added.