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Fergus McFadden | 'I'm preparing myself that it probably is finished'

Leinster's Fergus McFadden says he's prepared for the fact that he's played his final game of pro...

Fergus McFadden | 'I'm prepari...

Fergus McFadden | 'I'm preparing myself that it probably is finished'

Leinster's Fergus McFadden says he's prepared for the fact that he's played his final game of professional rugby, after confirming his decision to retire last week.

The 33-year-old announced last Sunday that he would be calling time on his 13-year professional career at the end of the current season, the remainder of which may not take place.

And with the sport currently suspended due to Coronavirus restrictions, McFadden - who won 34 caps for Ireland between 2011 and 2018 - says he's coming to terms with the fact that he may have lined out in the blue of Leinster for the final time.

Speaking to OTB AM, McFadden told Adrian Barry and Eoin Sheahan that while he is keeping himself in game-shape, he has to accept that some things are more important than rugby.

"A little bit, but I'm kind of preparing myself that it (the season) probably is finished. But at the same time I'm doing plenty of training  to keep myself nice and fit. I'm staying connected, in touch with a lot of the lads, I've been in touch with Leo and Stuart so if it goes back and the season does roll on and they need me then I'd love to be involved and please God that does happen.

"I've been in professional rugby for quite a while so no matter how ready you think you are until that day comes when you retire you're not really going to know how it feels," he said.

"I'm doing a fair bit of training, I've got a bit of a make-shift gym and a treadmill and I do a bit of running.

"I'm doing all the sessions that are prescribed by Leinster, but a lot of it is just to get a clear headspace, it's a very difficult time for a lot of people being stuck in their houses.

"Obviously it's very disappointing to see what's happened to Leinster's season and if it does finish it would be a real pity but there's bigger things going on in the world with people losing loved ones and fully losing jobs. There's a lot of tragedy around and you just have to sit back and say we're grateful to be in the position we're in," he added.

McFadden says he opted against calling time on his career a year ago, but feels now is the right time to step away when he's still able to contribute positively to the PRO14 Champions


"I was kind of toying with it even the previous season, just thinking about when I would do it and then I signed on for one more year.

"I also wanted to try finish when I felt that I felt I was still adding a fair bit on the pitch, which I think any of the opportunities I've had this year I've done. I just felt it was the right time this year to finish up at the end and try do it somewhat on my own terms. At least my body is in one piece, and listen, if the pandemic means that I never play for Leinster again then I can only be grateful for what I've had so far, and if I do then fantastic."

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Fergus McFadden Guinness Pro14 Heineken Champions Cup Leinster Rugby Leo Cullen