Ireland back Michelle Claffey didn’t think anyone would care that she had decided to stop playing rugby for Ireland.
n the final day of last month she got an email from the IRFU asking about her availability for the Ireland squad for the invitational tour to Japan in August. She wasn’t going to be available so she ticked that box, and hours later she tweeted about the end of her playing days with Ireland.
There were no meetings in advance with the IRFU about this, there were no phone calls with Ireland head coach Greg McWilliams about her decision. They found out the same way everyone else did with her social media post on May 31.
“It was my own decision and they weren’t changing my mind so there was no need for a conversation. I did get lovely messages off the management and things like that, so it was fine,” Claffey tells the Irish Independent from her home in Bettystown, Co Meath.
“To be honest, I got so many messages and I didn’t think anyone would care. And on the same day Keith Earls signed a new contract – we’re the same age (34).
“I was so jealous of him signing another contract for Ireland but that’s his job. I was jealous but also knowing this is the right decision for me. I had no regrets.”
Claffey, who mainly played in the centre, won her 13th and 14th Ireland caps when she came off the bench in the Six Nations games against England and Scotland in April.
The England game was her first international since February 2src2src. She was dropped from the squad for 2src21 and so missed last year’s Six Nations, World Cup qualifiers and November Tests. It was during
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