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Sunday 4 December 2016

Heroic Jones forced to call time on career

Felix Jones
Felix Jones

Felix Jones has been forced to retire from rugby 'on medical grounds.'

Coach Anthony Foley got it right when he spoke of how the Dubliner came "to embody everything that was Munster," everything noble about rugby through his honesty, bravery and an unswerving belief that he was never beaten until the final bell.

At least, that is the impression from afar of a man who started out at Seapoint club, out near Killiney, and St Andrew's College, just up off Booterstown Road.

He was never one to take no for an answer, not when he was cut by Leinster, not when he broke his neck in a freak incident, not through all the tortuous injuries that have hampered his career.

"It is still unthinkable to believe I will never play another game of rugby," he reflected.

"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 team-mates 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."

The 28-year-old leaves the game with 90 caps for Munster and thirteen for his country. The final bell tolls for him alone.

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