Leinster Rugby’s James Tracy, who was part of the 2018 Heineken Champions Cup winnings side, has announced his retirement on medical grounds due to a neck injury suffered in April 2022.

The 31-year-old hooker made 36 appearances for the Irish province in seven Heineken Champions Cup campaigns, scoring a solitary try in the process.

Tracy came on as a replacement during Leinster’s 15-12 victory over Racing 92 in the 2017-18 final, and also appeared from the bench in the Irish province’s 20-10 defeat to Saracens in the 2018-19 final.

“Today is a day of reflection and gratitude,” Tracy, who also earned six caps for Ireland, said in a statement posted on the Leinster website.

“Playing for Joe, Leo and Stu, Leinster Rugby, the 12 counties it represents and my country, it has been a tremendous honour.

“I have learnt so much from each coach and can’t thank them enough for believing in me. During my 10 seasons as a Leinster player, I’ve pursued success and became obsessed with winning, while being lucky enough to prepare and train with the highest calibre of players and backroom staff. It has been an honour to represent my Leinster family and all of the supporters.

“I say this with a heavy heart: I am retiring from rugby as result of injury. I cherished every moment of my career, and it has been such a blessing to play the game for as long as I have.”