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Mike McCarthy's Emotional Farewell As Injury Costs Him "Perfect" French Move

Mike McCarthy's Emotional Farewell As Injury Costs Him "Perfect" French Move
By Gavin Cooney

Irish and Leinster lock Mike McCarthy has been forced to retire from rugby owing to a chronic elbow injury.

It was announced a couple of months ago that McCarthy would leave Leinster at the end of the season, but he had signed a two-year deal to play with Narbonne in the French second division. That elbow injury has now cost him that move, and he told the Leinster Rugby website of his regrets as injury curtails his career.

McCarthy is clearly dejected, and is instructive of the tyranny injury can wreak upon a sportsperson's life:

It’s just sad because I’ve played my last game without really knowing it, without really being able to savour it or take it in. To enjoy it more. That decision has been taken away from me and it’s difficult because even random things like I’m a dad and you do think of moments like bringing your daughter onto the pitch for a lap, maybe even with a trophy, and that’s no longer an option so like I said it’s just difficult right now to get my head around.

For 17 years I’ve been playing the game I love, running around tearing into people and having people tear into you. How do you replace that? You probably can’t but it’s trying to get my head around it all.

The dissipation of the French dream is what hurts most:

I was massively excited to go there. It’s a beautiful part of France to live, down by the south coast and we were all looking forward to it and I was looking forward to contributing on the field over the next two seasons. They’ve had a lot of success in the past so I was looking forward to going there and doing my bit.

Jess had bought into it which is important because it has to work for us both. So we’d been taking French lessons for the last six weeks, we had paid a deposit for the furniture removals, had paid a deposit on a house, we had handed in our lease here in Dublin. Everything was set.

Jamie Hagan had helped us massively and had scoped out a few properties so the house that we had chosen he had sent us some videos and you can’t but think of how your life will play out. Playing with Lola in the back garden or in the pool, the beach only down the road. It would have been perfect.

A deeply disappointing end to a fine career for McCarthy, who retires with more than 300 senior appearances, 19 of them with Ireland, Challenge Cup, Pro12 and Premiership medals along with, evidently, stack loads of regrets.


Read the full interview on the Leinster website.

See Also: Jared Payne Responds To Neil Francis' Claim In Recent Newspaper Column

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