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Legend determined to leave with silverware

Guinness PRO12 Editor

6 May 2010

Leinster legend Girvan Dempsey has his heart of set on one final piece of silverware as he heads into retirement.

The Ireland full back is determined to help his province claim Magners League glory for a second time in three years before hanging up his boots at the end of the season.

Dempsey is in line to make his 175th Leinster appearance and his 85th in the Magners League when the table-topping Dubliners face Edinburgh this weekend, with anything other than defeat set to guarantee a home semi-final in the inaugural Play-Offs. 

“We now have a case of our destiny being in our own hands with this game against Edinburgh on Sunday in order to achieve that home semi-final in the Magners League,” Dempsey, who won 82 caps for Ireland, told the Irish Times.

“I felt this year was the year for Leinster. We had high ambitions to try and win a double and, unfortunately at the weekend, we came up against a Toulouse side that was very strong on the day. 

“Everyone is still very driven and focused to try and win some silverware.” 

Claiming Magners League glory may well be the sole focus for the affable Dempsey right now but he has spoken publicly about the reasons behind his decision to call time on an illustrious career.

The first of those reasons is family; the second is health; and the third is that he has achieved so much and is leaving Leinster in good hands.

Dempsey admits that having a young child at home has altered his viewon life and how he wishes to spend his time and that being able to leave the game with his body largely intact has now become even more important.

He intends to spend more quality time with his wife and baby son, Peter, and is modestly convinced that there are enough talented youngsters coming through the ranks at the RDS to make sure his absence isn’t felt too strongly next term. 

“It certainly was a tough decision and something I took my time over,” added Dempsey.

“People said I was well capable of playing on longer but I just felt it was time for me.

“When you have a nine-month-old baby your perspective sort of changes: I’m not leaving the game with any serious injuries. I will still be able to run around at the weekend and enjoy life. 

“I really felt that the end of this season was the right time to retire and move on to something else.

“It got to the stage where I am very happy with everything I have achieved in rugby and there are a lot of very young and exciting players coming up at Leinster and it is time for them to step up and take over the positions.”