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Friday 15 December 2017

Injury forces Ireland hooker Damien Varley to retire

Munster star Damien Varley scored two tries for St Munchin's in the 2002 Munster Senior Cup final. Photo: Diarmuid Greene / SPORTSFILE
Munster star Damien Varley scored two tries for St Munchin's in the 2002 Munster Senior Cup final. Photo: Diarmuid Greene / SPORTSFILE

Ireland hooker Damien Varley has confirmed that he is to retire from rugby due to a foot injury.

The 31-year-old Munster forward first suffered the injury two years ago and has made only one appearance this season - against Leinster in October - and underwent surgery later that month.

Varley met with the surgeon in January and was advised to retire after winning three Ireland caps and making 121 appearances for Munster.

"It is with great sadness that I have to announce my premature retirement," Varley told the official Munster website.

"I am privileged to have represented my province and country and I am hugely thankful for all the memories and support I have received throughout my career. "

Varley joined London Wasps in 2008 before returning to Munster the following year and made his Ireland debut against Australia in 2010 with his final cap coming in Argentina last June.

Munster head coach Anthony Foley said, "We know it has been a long road for him with this injury and although we are losing a player of his calibre we recognise all that he has done for the province."

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