British & Irish Lions loosehead prop Jack McGrath has announced his retirement from the game at the age of 33 to spend more time with his family.
Over the course of his career, McGrath won 59 caps for Ireland, while he was part of the Lions team that drew the Test series in New Zealand in 2017.
During his team on that Tour, McGrath made seven appearances, the first coming as a starter in the clash with the Blues before coming off the bench in six more games.
That included appearances as a replacement in all three Tests, as the Lions and the All Blacks drew 1-1.
Prior to that, McGrath had been a key figure for Ireland in two victorious Six Nations campaigns in 2014 and 2015, as well as starting their historic first win over the All Blacks in 2016.
However, a serious hip injury disrupted the latter part of McGrath’s career, and he was released by Ulster at the end of last season.
Now, at the age of 33, McGrath has made the decision to call time on his career, explaining in a statement that his priority is his family, rather than attempting to make another comeback.
“This decision has taken a considerable amount of time, it has been one of the hardest I’ve ever had to make,” McGrath said.
“The last few years have been extremely testing for myself and my family, both mentally and physically. I feel I have given everything to my rugby career and I have no regrets or anything left to prove.
“It’s been a long road of rehabilitation after two hip resurfacing operations. My main focus now is my family and I am excited for this next chapter with them.
“I am in a position now where I have a comfortable, pain-free life and can be an active dad, which I have chosen over going back to play rugby.”
View this post on Instagram