Leinster and Ireland prop has announced his retirement
Leinster player Mike Ross admits he has "mixed emotions" as he begins his post-rugby playing career.
The former Ireland tighthead prop, who won two Six Nations with Ireland, announced his retirement at the end of the season on Tuesday morning and spoke to Off The Ball about the decision.
"Mixed emotions really. It's a bit sad in a way to call time on something that I've played for so many years ever since I was 11 or so. But at the same time, it's fairly exciting opportunity in front of me and I'm looking forward to grabbing it with both hands," said the 37 year old, referencing his move into the tech industry with a software company in the area of data protection.
"It's a complete change in career path but it's something I find interesting. Hopefully I do half as well in it as I did in my rugby career."
In terms of pursuing his rugby career into a further year or two beyond the season, he said he had not been keen on a move abroad due to the upheaval and the fact that he has a young family who are settled where they are now.
Tadhg Furlong has developed into Ross' successor for Leinster and Ireland and the latter spoke of their relationship as their position underwent a changing of the guard.
"He's a very likeable guy," Ross said of Furlong, before adding jokingly, "so it's hard to stay mad at him".
"We got on quite well. We're both from agricultural backgrounds so we'd talk about that and he always had enormous appetite for knowledge, so anytime I was sitting down doing a scrum review, he was sitting next to me, looking at things, trying to pick up things or ask me questions during sessions to try and figure out the little bits that are important in the development of a young prop."
Ross also spoke about raising awareness for Pieta House following the death of his brother at the age of 16.
Anyone affected by issues raised in this article can contact Pieta House on 1800-247-247 or the Samaritans on 116-123.