Former Ireland hooker Sean Cronin to retire at end of season

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Leinster’s former Ireland hooker Sean Cronin has announced he will retire from rugby at the end of the season.

Cronin, who turns 36 next month, represented his country 72 times and travelled to World Cups in 2011, 2015 and 2019.

He helped Ireland to Six Nations triumphs in 2014 and 2015, in addition to being part of the Grand Slam-winning squad of 2018.

Having begun his club career with Munster, Cronin joined Leinster from Connacht in 2011. He has gone on to score 45 tries in 204 appearances for his current province.

“After 14 years, I can confirm that this will be my last season playing professional rugby,” he told Leinster’s website.

“I feel incredibly lucky to have had the opportunity to do something I love for a living.

“The professional side of my career was a different journey than most but one I look back on with huge pride as I experienced some amazing clubs filled with great coaches, team-mates, and players across all three teams.”

Cronin has won two Heineken Champions Cup medals, a Challenge Cup and six PRO12/14 titles with Leinster.

Sean Cronin joined Leinster from Connacht in 2011
Sean Cronin joined Leinster from Connacht in 2011 (David Davies/PA)

He will take over as head coach of Dublin-based St Mary’s College RFC for next season.

“I look forward to developing my coaching aspirations along with furthering my education in the financial field, but most importantly spending time with my family,” added the father-of-three.

Leinster head coach Leo Cullen said: “Sean – or Nugget as he is known to us here in Leinster – has left an incredible legacy not only on Leinster Rugby but across all of the clubs he has played for and of course with Ireland.

“I was lucky enough to have played and roomed with Nugget over the years along with coaching him more recently and he will definitely go down as one of the great characters. He will be hugely missed.”

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