Ireland flanker O'Donnell to retire at season's end

Dublin (AFP) –


Ireland back-rower Tommy O'Donnell said Monday on he will retire at the end of the season.

The 33-year-old Munster flanker is set to take part in the upcoming Pro14 Rainbow Cup, featuring teams from South Africa, before he hangs up his boots.

He made the last of his 13 Test appearances in 2019's victory over Italy.

O'Donnell has spent all his senior professional career with the Irish province, making 186 appearances for the two-time European champions.

"It has been the greatest honour and privilege to represent Munster Rugby for the past 14 seasons," O'Donnell told the club's website.

"I feel it is the right time for me and my family to step away from rugby and this season will be my last."

The 33-year-old added: "I'm proud to know that I will retire as a one-club man. I am confident and content in my decision, having chased the dream from the age of 16 through the youths, underage and academy systems to represent Munster and Ireland."

Munster head coach Johann Van Graan paid tribute to O'Donnell.

"To play at such a high level for 14 seasons is a testament to his quality, his determination and his resilience," Van Graan said.

"A one-club man, I can only thank Tommy for everything he has done for Munster but he still has a part to play for the remainder of the season."

Munster back-rower CJ Stander as well as lock Billy Holland have also said they will finish their careers at the end of the campaign.