Munster's Billy Holland has announced that he will retire at the end of the current campaign.
The 35-year-old lock has been one of the province's most consistent performers in recent seasons and just last weekend made his 241st appearance in the famous red jersey.
In doing so he overtook Ronan O'Gara to become the second most-capped player in the club's history behind Donncha O'Callaghan on 268.
Given the quality of his performances and influence around the pitch, there will be some eyebrows raised at the timing of the decision, but the Cork native is determined to go out on his own terms.
“I have always been determined to finish my career whilst still playing well and adding value to the jersey each time I get to put it on,” he said.
“To be in a position to call time on such a fantastic experience, on my own terms, is one I am extremely grateful for. I believe the time is right for me, my family and for Munster Rugby to hang up my boots.
“I don’t want to reflect too much on the incredible journey just yet, as right now my focus is on performing to the best of my ability every time I’m handed that cherished red shirt.
"I am excited to help Munster continue to move forward and achieve our potential for the rest of the season.”
A product of the Munster Academy, he made his senior debut against Scarlets in 2007. His only international cap came against Canada in 2016.
Paying tribute to Holland, Munster head coach Johann van Graan said: “I only just said it recently: Billy will go down as a Munster legend in the history of the club, and rightly so.
“We all know the incredible character he is and how hard he works behind the scenes, always getting the job done.
"He has given his all to the jersey and all I can do is thank him for his service and commitment to Munster Rugby.
“We won’t dwell on it too much now, as ever the professional, Billy still has a job to do, helping to lead an ambitious group at this time.”
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