Andrew Conway Retires From Professional Rugby
9th November 2023 By The Editor
Andrew Conway has today confirmed that he will retire from professional rugby with immediate effect.
Read his statement below.
Andrew Conway Statement
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.
Conway bows out after an outstanding career that saw him line out for Munster on 150 occasions, scoring 50 tries to become our third-highest try-scorer of all time.
He also scored 15 tries in his 30 Ireland caps, won a Triple Crown and featured in the 2019 Rugby World Cup. He finished the competition as Ireland’s top try-scorer with three tries in as many appearances.
After coming up through the ranks at Blackrock College, Conway lined out 42 times for Leinster before making the move to Munster in 2013.
He scored his first try for the province against Cardiff Blues in November 2013 and made a try-scoring Champions Cup debut for Munster against Sale Sharks in 2014.
After four strong seasons with Munster, Conway earned his first Ireland cap against England in the 2017 6 Nations.
He delivered one of the most iconic moments in Munster history against Toulon in 2018 with his superb individual effort earning Munster a place in the Champions Cup semi-finals.
Later that year he helped Ireland to an epic Test series victory in Australia for the first time since 1979.
After missing all of last season due to a knee injury, Conway played his 150th and final game for Munster at Thomond Park last month.
Fittingly, one of his final acts in a Munster jersey was to score the bonus-point try – his 50th for the province.
Munster Head Coach Graham Rowntree said: “Andy is a hugely respected and popular member of the squad and has been a fantastic player for Munster Rugby over the last ten years.
“Along with being outstanding on the field, he is such an important part of the group off the field and a person who contributed so much to this province.
“He was a huge fans’ favourite and just an incredibly talented player who you could always rely on.
“He worked tirelessly to get back playing and I was delighted to see him score his 50th Munster try on his 150th appearance against Sharks last month.
“A brilliant professional, he has been a pleasure to work with and I know he is going to go on and enjoy more success in whatever he chooses to do next.
“We wish Andy and his family all the best.”
IRFU High Performance Director David Nucifora said: “Andrew has left a lasting mark on the game in Ireland and though today is a sad day for him personally, it is a day to celebrate his enormous contribution to Munster, Leinster and Irish rugby.
“Since bursting on the scene 13 years ago, Andrew made 192 provincial appearances and a further 30 Ireland senior caps.
“A Triple Crown winner in 2022, Andrew also featured in the 2019 Rugby World Cup. It is never an easy day for any professional athlete to hang up their boots, but Andrew’s dedication, professionalism and series of electrifying displays will live long in the memory.
“On behalf of the IRFU I would like to thank Andrew for his efforts and wish him and his family the very best in the next chapter of their lives together.”