Munster and Ireland winger Andrew Conway has retired from rugby, with immediate effect. The 32-year-old confirmed that he has hung up his boots today, due to a problematic knee injury. Conway made 30 appearances for Ireland, and has been at Munster since departing Leinster in 2013.
Conway made his way through the ranks, as a graduate of the Leinster Rugby Academy. He made his senior debut in 2010 against the Scarlets, in which he set up a try for his former captain Johnny Sexton. Conway won the European Champions Cup in his first senior season, and added a domestic league title before departing Leinster in 2013.
Conway made his Ireland debut in a replacement appearance in the 2017 Six Nations. Conway ran on for Keith Earls in Ireland’s win over England, and scored his first Ireland try against South Africa in the following Autumn Internationals. Conway was included in Joe Schmidt’s squad for the 2019 Rugby World Cup, which saw Ireland suffer a quarter-final exit to the hands of New Zealand.
Conway won the United Rugby Championship title with Munster in his final season, as the Irish province defeated the Stormers 19-14 in South Africa.
“Unfortunately, I have been advised to retire from professional rugby because of a knee injury.
“An incredible amount of work has been put in by the Munster and IRFU medics to get me back and I can’t thank you all enough for your commitment. Thank you to all the backroom staff I’ve been lucky enough to cross paths and work with over the years. You know who you are. A special mention to Damien Mordan, Keith Fox, Dr. Jamie Kearns and Dr. Ciaran Cosgrave for your care and support through the years. Thank you to Rugby Players Ireland and my agents for your guidance in the past and into the future.
“I’ve been very fortunate to have been coached by some fantastic people. Thank you all. In particular to Felix Jones for showing me the way, Andy Farrell for having such belief in me and Graham Rowntree for your support in these tough times.
“To my team-mates from my first Leinster cap in 2010 all the way to my last Munster cap last month. It was an honour to go to battle with you all. I’m more grateful than words can express.
“Thank you to all those in Blackrock College, Blackrock College RFC and Leinster Rugby for giving me my first opportunities in the game.
“My love for Munster goes back to the 2006 European Cup final in Cardiff with my Dad. I’ll never forget walking into the stadium to see it full of red jerseys, the cameras panning to O’Connell street in Limerick… it was always Munster. To play for this great club was the best decision I ever made. Thank you to all the Munster supporters that embraced me as one of your own!
“Playing for Ireland was my dream come true. Singing the national anthem with my team-mates, watched on by family and friends was the proudest I’ve ever been.
“To my parents and sisters, thank you for your unconditional support over the years. Through the ups and downs I’ve always known you were there for me and it meant so much to share the journey with you all.
“To my wife Liz, it’s no coincidence that my career started to take off when you moved down to Limerick. Your support and sacrifices over the years have driven me on more than you’ll ever know. Having you in the stands for game days always gave me comfort and I’ll forever cherish the last day with yourself and Hailey in Thomond Park.
“Lastly, I’ll miss the big days in red and green but not as much as the daily pursuit and shared team goal of reaching our potential. I’m not exactly sure what is next but I’m very excited to take all the learnings from the last 14 years into the next chapter. Forever Grateful.”