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Final curtain for Geordan Murphy

Leicester Tigers legend Geordan Murphy has announced the next two games will be his last as he will retire at the end of the season.

The former Ireland international full-back, who has been struggling with a knee injury this season, has been with the Tigers since 1997. He went on to play 322 games to date winning seven Premiership titles on the way as well as back-to-back Heineken Cups in 2001 and 2002.

Murphy, 35, also won 72 caps for Ireland being instrumental in their 2009 Grand Slam campaing four years after touring witht the British & Irish Lions in New Zealand where started the final Test against the All Blacks.

Murphy said: “I knew myself last week before the London Irish game that it was probably the last time I’d lead the team out at Welford Road.

“It really was emotional; I was choking up as I ran onto the field. Sixteen years is a long time to be doing something, especially in the sporting world. I’ve been lucky with the successes I’ve had and the guys that I’ve played with. I have a lot of fond memories.

“With the way my knee is at the minute I didn’t have the confidence to sign on as a full-time player next year.

“I was contemplating playing part-time but with the way the budgets are at the club, there was no just no room in the salary cap. The club then approached me and asked me to join the coaching staff. I thought it was the right time to go. I’ve been very lucky that the club have been loyal and offered me a chance to stay involved.”

Tigers director of rugby Richard Cockerill said: “Geordan is an all-time great at this club. He has been a major player for us for so long and has had a massive impact on the team in his time here.

“He has played at the very top level of the game for a long time and has been one of the most outstanding players in the history of Premiership rugby.

“Although he has announced the end of his playing career this summer, he will be joining the coaching team here next season and we look forward to his continued involvement.”

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