Leinster hero Eoin forced to retire at 25
LEINSTER rugby star Eoin O'Malley has been forced to retire aged 25.
Tributes poured in for the centre yesterday after he confirmed a knee injury had prematurely ended his career.
The Dubliner appeared 54 times for Leinster, including seven times in the Heineken Cup. He had been tipped by many as the long-term replacement for Brian O'Driscoll.
"It is obviously an incredibly tough reality that I am still trying to come to terms with. After exhausting all options I am devastated to be retiring from the game," he said.
Leinster team manager Guy Easterby was first to pay tribute to O'Malley.
"Not only is he a superb player with a huge amount of talent, he is also a great bloke who is well respected by both his fellow players and all the staff here at Leinster Rugby," he said.
Brian O'Driscoll described the forced retirement as "absolutely brutal".