Munster Star Felix Jones Forced Into Early Retirement
Munster full-back Felix Jones has been forced into retirement on medical grounds.
The 28-year-old joins a growing number of players who have been forced to hang up their boots as a result of the toll professional rugby has taken on their body.
Jones has been plagued with injuries during his career but has been forced into retirement after sustaining a neck injury in the recent Guinness Pro12 clash with Glasgow Warriors at Thomond Park.
Commenting on his early retirement, Felix said, “It is still unthinkable to believe I will never play another game of rugby.
“Although I have tried to round myself as an individual through education and other interests, I have always had one driving purpose in my life and that was to play rugby. I’m grateful I could do that in Munster. That feeling of walking out the tunnel in front of a packed Thomond Park is something I will never forget. To accept I will not play with my teammates again is beyond upsetting. I’m lucky to have played with so many great players, but rugby has given me something better and that is the people who are now life-long friends.
“I thank all the coaches I have been lucky enough to learn from and I look forward to seeing the development of our squad over the coming seasons.
“The guidance I have received from the medical teams in Munster and Ireland has been unfaltering. I would also like to acknowledge the consultants I have dealt with here and further abroad.
“I’m indebted to everyone who has helped me throughout my career from Seapoint my home club, Old Belvedere, Shannon and all the way up to representing Ireland. Without doubt the proudest moment of my career was being given the privilege to win my first cap for my country.
“It would be remiss of me not to mention the extensive support I have received from IRUPA not only at this moment in time but throughout my career also. I would encourage all players to engage with their players union.
“Finally, I would like to thank my family and close friends for their undying support on and off the pitch. I will draw upon this over the coming weeks as the situation presents itself as a nervous yet exciting junction in my life.”
Munster Head Coach Anthony Foley said “We are all hugely disappointed for Felix. He was a leading example in the way he applied himself through his commitment, work-rate and attention to detail.
“For a player to come in, embody everything that is Munster and have such a presence within the group he will be sorely missed on and off the field. We are very grateful for Felix’s immense contribution over the last six years and wish him all the best for the future.”