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Jamie Heaslip Interview: Retirement, career highs and low, Eddie O'Sullivan and white boots


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The last few weeks have represented a new dawn for Jamie Heaslip.

The 2009 Grand Slam winning former Ireland No 8 announced his retirement in February as a result of injury and is starting a new chapter in life that won't involve pro rugby.

As he gets ready for what the future holds next for him, he joined Nathan Murphy in studio to chat in depth about his decision, the future and the highs and lows of his career for Ireland and Leinster. 

Among the many highs were of course the 2009 Grand Slam, beating the All Blacks in Chicago and multiple Heineken Cups with Leinster. 

"Funny enough, Cardiff is a place where many of my rugby memories come from," he said.

"I won the Grand Slam there, won a Heineken Cup there. In Leinster, that's one of my favourite moments ever for loads of different reasons - mainly because some of my family members were getting a lot of nasty enough abuse coming into half-time from fans. By the end of that game, they were pretty quiet which was kind of nice.

"But for Ireland, for me personally, it was Chicago. The Grand Slam was amazing, like amazing, and I hope the guys do it this weekend. But I think [Chicago] was the ninth or 10th time I'd played New Zealand and at that stage of my career, barring the World Cup, I hadn't beat these guys but we'd beaten everyone else. They're top of the totem pole and I have a picture and it's myself and Church (Cian Healy) and we're sitting on top of the hotel and it's a good moment, especially after the journey with the lads."

Ireland's Cian Healy and Jamie Heaslip celebrate beating the All Blacks in Chicago ©INPHO/Billy Stickland

Heaslip did feature in the 2011 and 2015 Rugby World Cups but missed out on 2007 when he was left out by then Ireland head coach Eddie O'Sullivan.

"Eddie didn't remember my name the first time. He called me 'Graham' three times in a row after I corrected him," said Heaslip, before continuing on about his relationship with O'Sullivan.

"Look, he was the head coach. He had to make his decisions and head coaches make tough decisions all the time and he brought Ireland to a very successful place. Did I agree with him? No but not every player is going to agree with the coach in the decisions they make obviously, especially if you're not getting picked."    

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