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RugbyU: Leinster's Nacewa set to quit rugby

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(Globalpost/GlobalPost)

New Zealand-born full-back Isa Nacewa is to retire from rugby at the end of the current season when he leaves European champions Leinster, the Irish province have announced.

Leinster said Nacewa was calling time on his rugby career for "family reasons" and coach Joe Schmidt added: "I've known Isa for a number of years. He is universally respected due to the quality of his character, his athleticism, skill and commitment.

"He has been great value for us, not just on the field where he has provided a string of highlights but off the field also, where he has contributed enormously to the development of the players around him.

"He's hugely popular amongst supporters and hopefully they will enjoy a few more outstanding performances from Isa in the coming weeks."

The 30-year-old Auckland-born Nacewa joined Leinster in 2008 and played a key role in their three European Cup wins, scoring 375 points in 116 matches to date for the Dublin-based side.

Club success was some consolation for an international career where, as a 21-year-old, he was called into the Fiji squad at the 2003 World Cup and spent two minutes on the field against Scotland, reportedly not realising this would make him ineligible ever to play for New Zealand.

In 2011 Nacewa was named both the Irish Rugby Union Players' Association (IRUPA) and the Leinster Rugby Bank of Ireland Player of the Year, as well as being chosen as full-back on the 'PRO12 (Celtic League) Dream Team' for 2011 and was shortlised for the ERC European Player of the Year.

Prior to joining Leinster, he made his Blues debut in 2005 against the Highlanders and went on to earn 44 Super Rugby caps while also making 54 provincial appearances for Auckland.

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http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/afp/130321/rugbyu-leinsters-nacewa-set-quit-rugby