Donncha O'Callaghan has left Munster to join Worcester, it has been confirmed. 

Munster's most capped player has been granted an early release from his contract, which was due to run until June 2016.

The 36-year-old has joined the English side on a two-year contract.

O’Callaghan won 268 caps for Munster, having previously represented Highfield, CBC and Cork Constitution.

While in the red of Munster he won two European Cups, in 2006 and 2008, three Pro12 titles and a Celtic Cup.

"I'm forever grateful to those in Munster and Irish Rugby that put the structures in place all the way up, and most importantly, the people that have influenced and shaped me not only as a player but as a person" - Donncha O'Callaghan

O'Callaghan said: "It has been a huge decision for me to leave Munster, one that I have thought long and hard about. The opportunity to prolong my career is one that I couldn't pass up and I'm extremely grateful to Munster, the IRFU and Worcester for providing me with this opportunity.

"Playing for both my home province and country has been a dream come true for me and my family, I have loved every moment of it. I leave with a full heart and unbelievable memories. 

"I'm forever grateful to those in Munster and Irish Rugby that put the structures in place all the way up, and most importantly, the people that have influenced and shaped me not only as a player but as a person.

"My goal is the same now as it was when I was eight years of age, to play rugby, enjoy it and win. I look forward to earning the respect of the Worcester management, players and supporters.

"Finally I would like to thank the Munster supporters - for over 17 years you have lifted me to play beyond myself and I look forward to going back and joining you in my first role with Munster, as a supporter."

Head coach Anthony Foley added: "I had the honour of playing with Donncha for over a decade and have witnessed first-hand everything he has achieved with Munster and Ireland.

"A true Munster man in every sense, his passion and commitment were clear for all to see. He is held in the highest regard on the world stage after excelling at every level and we are thankful for his immense contribution to the province."