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Another Munster stalwart to retire after 14 years with home province

By Ciarán Kennedy
Tommy O'Donnell will retire at the end of the season. (Getty)

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Munster are set to lose another one-club man at the end of the season with Tommy O’Donnell announcing his plans to retire from rugby. O’Donnell, 33, made his Munster debut in 2007 and has represented the province on 186 occasions.

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Fellow one-club man Billy Holland is also retiring at the end of the season, along with backrow CJ Stander.

O’Donnell came through the Munster academy and was Munster’s player of the year in 2013. He also represented Ireland across two Six Nations-winning campaigns, and won 13 caps in total.

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The flanker suffered a number of injury setbacks throughout his career, notably being ruled out of contention for the 2015 Rugby World Cup due to a dislocated hip.

“It has been the greatest honour and privilege to represent Munster Rugby for the past 14 seasons,” O’Donnell said.

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

“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.

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“While it is not the end just yet and I’m very much looking forward to contributing to the team in the final part of the season and new competition ahead, I felt the time was right to make my intentions to retire known.

“My family and I are looking forward to the new chapter ahead. My passion and belief in Munster Rugby will always remain unwavering.

“I look forward to looking on as a supporter and bringing my boys to experience the magic of a packed Thomond Park in the years to come.”

Munster head coach Johann van Graan said: “Tommy has been a brilliant player for Munster Rugby and has made a massive contribution to this club, always giving 100% in every situation.

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“A fantastic man on and off the field, he is a real leader and a hugely positive influence on the group.

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

“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.”

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Another Munster stalwart to retire after 14 years with home province

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