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Ireland captain Ciara Griffin retires from international rugby

Ireland captain Ciara Griffin has announced her retirement from international rugby.  Saturday's...

Ireland captain Ciara Griffin has announced her retirement from international rugby. 

Saturday's test against Japan will be the back-row's last in a green shirt.

Still only 27, Griffin has been Ireland captain since 2018.

“It has been a childhood dream come true to play for my country," she said, "Being afforded the opportunity to captain the National Team has been the highest honour.

"It has been an incredible journey filled with many highs and lows and I am very grateful for all the life skills I have developed through my involvement in High Performance sport.

“It is a decision I have not come to lightly and after discussing it with my family ahead of the Autumn Tests, it is now time for me to turn my focus to my life outside of rugby and begin a new chapter.

"I would like to thank everyone for their unwavering support, and I look forward to supporting the team going forward.”

Griffin's retirement continues a torrent of bad news for the women's game. Last week saw her teammate Cliodhna Moloney led the outcry regarding Anthony Eddy's comments about the women's team.

A review into Ireland's failure to qualify for the World Cup is ongoing, feeding into a wider appraisal of women's rugby across the country. However, the IRFU revealed on Tuesday that they would not be publishing either report, but would instead release their key findings.

"People have their comments, that's fine, that's what the review is for, we can put our feedback into that, we're just going to trust the review process," Griffin said last week.

"Anthony has addressed me in terms of that, he apologised in case people took offence to his comments.

"His comments were made, we now need to focus on the game, on the game at hand and we'll look at the review process after that and give our opinions there."

It's understood Griffin made her decision to retire after the World Cup qualifier disappointment in Parma.

Outgoing head coach Adam Griggs said, "Ciara stood out to me right from our first training session as a genuine leader and someone that players respect and listen to.

"She wears her heart on her sleeve and it is that leadership style along with her passion and dedication to making people and the team better that has always been so effective.

“Ciara has led the way with her standards and what it takes to be a first class international, and I know in doing this has inspired so many young players to take up rugby and try to emulate her own journey.

"Irish Rugby will miss her, and we wish her all the best in retirement and the next chapter of her life.”

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Ciara Griffin IRFU Ireland