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Former Ireland captain Claire Molloy retires from international rugby

Claire Molloy

Former Ireland captain Claire Molloy has retired from international rugby after winning 74 caps in the famous green jersey.

The 33-year-old, named Ireland’s Player of the Year in 2012 and 2017, played her final international game in the recent World Cup qualifier 20-18 defeat by Scotland – a game which ended their hopes of playing at next year’s World Cup in New Zealand.

The flanker has already played at three World Cups, won two Women’s Six Nations and is also an international in rugby sevens, representing Ireland back in 2013.

“Twelve years in a green shirt, not the ending I would have wanted,” Molloy said in a statement announcing her retirement on Twitter.

“To all the coaches, physios, team managers, S&Cs, and all the backroom staff, thank you for guiding me along the way and often patching me back together at times.

“To the players I’ve shared the pitch with, it’s been an honour. So many fantastic, inspiring women I get to call friends.

“To my best supporters, my Mum and Dad, thank you for following me all over the world to watch.”

Molloy came off the bench in the second half of the loss to Scotland that saw Ireland miss out on the World Cup, having featured in every edition of the competition since 1994.

Her career with Ireland was highlighted by her performances when she was a vital part of the 2013 Grand Slam-winning side and she also helped them to a second Women’s Six Nations crown two years later.

At the 2014 World Cup in France, she was a member of the Ireland team that defeated New Zealand and reached the semi-finals, while she has also had an accomplished inter-county football career for Galway.

Molloy is a qualified doctor, having studied at Cardiff University, and she wasn’t the only rugby star on her course, as Wales men’s centre Jamie Roberts trained alongside her.