Leinster lock featured for Ireland
Leinster second row Mike McCarthy has announced his retirement from rugby as a result of an elbow injury.
The former Ireland international had been due to move to Narbonne in France next season but that move will now not transpire.
McCarthy discussed his decision to retire in an interview on the Leinster Rugby website and the challenge to adapting to life after professional rugby.
"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," he said.
"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."
He also added that he had been "massively excited" about making the move to France.
Born in London, the 35 year old began his career with London Wasps before joining Connacht in 2003 and returning to England in 2004 with Newcastle Falcons.
But the lock returned to Connacht for a six year spell from 2007 to 2013 before joining Leinster.
McCarthy won multiple caps for Ireland after making his debut in 2011.