Former Ireland captain Jamie Heaslip has announced his retirement from rugby.
The 34 year old has brought his career to an end, having earned 95 caps for his country, won three Six Nations medals, three European titles and having toured with the Lions twice.
The Leinster Number 8 has been out of action since withdrawing from last year’s Six Nations game against England with what turned out to be a back problem.
Heaslip says he hanging up his boots on medical advice in order to ensure his future well being.
An ‘intelligent and incredibly robust player’ is how Ireland coach Joe Schmidt has described Heaslip.
Leinster boss Leo Cullen says ‘he somehow always delivered big moments on big occasions.’
Heaslip has been out of action since withdrawing from last year’s Six Nations game against England with what turned out to be a back problem.
Ireland legend Keith Wood says it is a disappointing way to end a spectacular career
Munster flanker Chris Cloete looks set to miss the rest of the season.
The South African will be side-lined for three to four months having undergone an operation on the fractured arm he suffered in Friday’s Pro 14 win over Glasgow.
Hooker Niall Scannell is being assessed by the medical team after picking up a rib injury.
Tommy O’Donnell has had a quicker than expected recovery from a shoulder issue, and is available for Friday’s trip to Edinburgh.
Sean O’Brien has been ruled out of Leinster’s Pro 14 match against the Scarlets in Wales on Saturday.
It is a big blow to the hopes of his return to the Ireland team for the upcoming Six Nations match against Scotland.
The Lions flanker has been out of action since suffering a hip injury during a Champions Cup match in December.
O’Brien has returned to training, and Leinster says he is stepping up his rehabilitation this week.
Tralee’s Irish champion Patrick McCarthy was beaten the in semi-final of the Munster Championships, by Ger McDonagh, Glen, Cork.
In next week’s Munster finals are Tommy Kenny 60kg Youth 2, Mike McCarthy 50kg Youth 1 and Johnathon McCarthy 48kg Youth 1.
Alan Pardew will remain in charge of West Brom for Saturday’s Premier League trip to Watford.
Reports claim club officials are still supporting their manager despite the weekend’s 2-1 defeat to Huddersfield.
The Baggies sit at the foot off the table, having lost four league games in succession.
The club are said to be reluctant to go in search of their third manager of the season, but Pardew’s position could be untenable if his side fail to beat the Hornets.