Declan Danaher, London Irish back row forward and former RPA Player Representative, has announced his retirement from playing rugby.
This season Declan has combined playing with a coaching role as Forwards Coach of the Club’s Academy. He will continue in that capacity for the remainder of this season and thereafter.
Declan joined London Irish in 1999 and has gone on to make 275 appearances in all competitions scoring 23 tries. He is the Club’s longest serving player in the professional era and has witnessed first-hand the club’s transformation both on and off the pitch. Along with Forwards Coach Glenn Delaney, Danaher was part of the 2002 Powergen Cup winning squad.
He joined the original Player Development Programme, the forerunner of today’s Academy, at the age of 19 when Dick Best, the Club’s first Director of Rugby, was in charge.
The combination of his long service and strong Irish background, his mother is from Limerick and his father from Kerry, has given Declan a very special status at the Club.
The flanker was London Irish’s Young Player of the Season in 2000/01 and 2001/02. He has represented Ireland at U19 level, Irish Exiles at U19 and U21 level, England at U21 level and England A. He has also played for the Barbarians.
London Irish Director of Rugby, Brian Smith expressed his gratitude to Declan’s service to the Club.
“Declan Danaher is London Irish through and through. He has always been a warrior on the field and a great ambassador for the Club off the field. He is a true Irish legend and epitomises what is good about the game. Dec has already been working with our Academy players this year and will continue in that capacity going forward. There is no better person to instil into our future players about what it means to play for our Club.