19 March 2019
London Irish has today announced that Mike Coman will be retiring from professional rugby with immediate effect.
Coman sustained a hamstring injury during an Anglo-Welsh Cup win over Cardiff Blues in February 2018.
Unfortunately, and despite the best efforts of both the player and the London Irish medical team, the severity of the injury has prevented the 31-year-old forward from making a full recovery and he has been forced to call a premature end to his playing career.
Coman arrived at Hazelwood from Edinburgh in 2016, having also previously played for the Hurricanes in Super Rugby, in the New Zealand domestic competition, and for New Zealand at age group level.
He was an immediate hit with the London Irish faithful, winning the Player of the Year in his first season at the club, and made 30 appearances in all competitions.
Coman, who will be heading home to New Zealand in the summer to join the family construction business, says that he will always have fond memories of his time in Sunbury.
“I’m gutted that I’m having to retire as I felt that I still had a couple of good years in front of me,” he said. “That said, I’m lucky enough to have had a good career in rugby and played in some good teams in New Zealand and in the UK and I’d like to thank all of the coaches and players who have helped me along the way.
“I’d particularly like to thank everyone at London Irish for the way they welcomed my wife and myself to the club and for making us feel a part of the family. It really is a fantastic place and one of the most disappointing aspects about having to retire is that I won’t be a part of the journey that the club is now on.
“Brian O’Leary, Nick Hess and the medical team have been brilliant in the way they have worked with me to try and help me overcome the injury, and Declan Kidney has gone out of his way to keep me involved with the squad as much as possible, even though I’ve not been able to contribute on the field.
“Hopefully we can finish off the season with promotion back to the Premiership, and then I can look forward to the next chapter of my life as part of the family business and with the baby my wife and I are expecting in the summer.
“I would like to wish everyone at London Irish all the best for the future and believe that success is just around the corner.”
Director of Rugby Declan Kidney says that Coman has been a very positive influence to have at Hazelwood over the past year.
“It is a real shame that Mike is having to retire as he has been a brilliant person to have around the squad this season,” he said. “You can always tell the measure of a man in times of adversity and Mike has been an influential part of the squad despite not playing. He’s done everything he could to get over his injury, but unfortunately the severity hasn’t allowed his body to recover to the stage where he could play professional rugby again.
“Mike has approached his rehabilitation and his off-field work like a true professional throughout my time at London Irish and we’re going to miss him.
“On behalf of the coaches, staff and players I’d like to wish Mike and his family every success for the future and we hope that he will continue to be a familiar face whenever he’s in London.”