Paddy Wallace: Ulster and Ireland back announces retirement

Paddy Wallace in action in his final Ulster appearance against Zebre in December

Ulster and Ireland centre Paddy Wallace has announced his retirement.

Wallace, 34, has been severely affected by injury over the past two seasons but remains Ulster's record appearance holder having represented the Irish province on 189 occasions.

The back also won 30 Ireland caps and played in his country's Grand Slam-winning campaign in 2009.

"I have been happy to call Ulster my home for all my life," said the Belfast man on Wednesday.

"To play at the one province for a whole career is something that is really special.

"Professional rugby is all I have known for the past 14 years.

"I am going to miss playing at Ravenhill, the fans and everything involved with being a rugby player.

"However, I have lots of fond memories. I have had a great career and I wouldn't change anything for the world."

Wallace made his Ulster debut in 2001 and was included in Ireland's World Cup squad two years later.

The former Campbell College pupil was part of the Ulster team that won the Celtic Cup in 2003 and helped the province clinch the Magners League title three years later.

Wallace sustained a cruciate ligament injury in February 2013 and while he did briefly return to action before Christmas, he then suffered further injury problems which ruled him out for the remainder of this season.

His final appearance was against Zebre in the Pro12 last December.

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