Professional rugby player Nick McCarthy has come out as gay.

McCarthy, 27, plays as a scrum-half for Leinster in Ireland.

“I'm proud and happy to share that I am gay,” McCarthy wrote on Instagram. “It has been a journey for me and I'm grateful for all the support I have received to get here!”

In an interview with his team's website, McCarthy said that he was considering leaving professional rugby over his sexuality last year but the support he received from his coaches changed his mind.

“The support that I got from them straight away was unbelievable,” he said. “They helped and guided me over the months that followed so that I felt more comfortable to come out to the group.”

“My experience since coming out though has been entirely positive. I have realized that anyone who cares about you, just wants you to be happy,” McCarthy said.

McCarthy added that he was inspired to come out by other out athletes, including American football player Carl Nassib and Australian soccer player Josh Cavallo.

“I've had good conversations with each of them and they've been hugely encouraging,” he said.

McCarthy was born in Ann Arbor, Michigan and first began playing rugby in Ireland at age 6.