A troublesome right knee injury will force the experienced Munster back-row Niall Ronan to retire at the end of the season.
The 31-year-old sustained the damage at training on the 17th of October 2013, rehabbed his injury unsuccessfully for a two-month period and required surgery just before Christmas. Acting on medical advice post-surgery means he has to unfortunately hang up his boots.
The Meath man joined Munster at the start of the 2007/08 season and played a key role in Munster's successes over the years. He is one of 7 current squad members with over 100 caps for the province and made his debut against USA in August 2007.
In total Niall has made 104 Munster appearances, scoring 16 tries, and played for Ireland on 4 occasions.
Ronan informed his teammates of the news ahead of training on Thursday and although extremely disappointed he was very thankful for the opportunity to play professional rugby.
"It has been a huge honour for me to play with such a great team for the past seven years. I'm very fortunate to have been given the opportunity to play with Munster and I truly enjoyed the experience," said Ronan.
"I would like to thank the supporters, staff, teammates and people of Munster for my time here.
"I would also like to thank my family, friends and former clubs that I played with for all their help and support throughout my career."