Ireland and Lions winger Shane Horgan retires from game

Brian O'Driscoll and Shane Horgan in action for Leinster
Brian O'Driscoll and Shane Horgan in action for Leinster

Ireland winger Shane Horgan has retired because of a long-term knee injury, his Leinster club have announced.

Horgan, twice a Heineken Cup winner, won the first of his 65 international caps against Scotland in 2000 and went on to score 21 tries for Ireland.

The 33-year-old made his Leinster debut in 1998 and became the first man to reach 200 appearances for the province.

"I am disappointed injury has forced me to retire, but I've been lucky to have had such a long career," said Horgan.

"Every professional sportsman realises that at some point their career will come to an end.

"I have been extremely fortunate to have played regularly for my province and with Ireland."

Horgan played in the 2003 and 2007 Rugby World Cups and was a member of three Triple Crown winning sides.

Leinster coach Joe Schmidt said Horgan would go down as one of the greats in Irish rugby.

"It was great to be involved with Shane last season where his performances contributed so much to the success of the team," he said.

"It was fitting that his final season culminated in a second Heineken Cup success.

"The last year has been a frustrating one for Shane with knee surgery and long periods of rehabilitation.

"Unfortunately, despite his best efforts, he has been unable to regain full fitness.

"Shane's retirement will no doubt leave a void in the group, but I know that his legacy of excellence and athleticism will continue to inspire future generations and we wish him all the best in the future."

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