Munster’s Felix Jones has been forced to retire from the game with a neck injury at the age of 28, drawing tributes from Anthony Foley and Alan Quinlan.
Jones was advised to retire from the sport after a neck problem suffered in the 23-21 Pro12 win over Glasgow Warriors on 2 October.
The full-back made 90 Munster appearances and won 13 Ireland caps, missing the final selection cut ahead of the World Cup.
"The guidance I have received from the medical teams in Munster and Ireland has been unfaltering"
"It is still unthinkable to believe I will never play another game of rugby," said Jones.
"I've always had one driving purpose in my life and that was to play rugby.
"I'm grateful I could do that in Munster.
"That feeling of walking out in front of a packed Thomond Park is something I will never forget.
"To accept I will not play with my team-mates again is beyond upsetting.
"The guidance I have received from the medical teams in Munster and Ireland has been unfaltering."
Munster coach Foley heralded Jones for his "immense contribution" at Munster.
"We are all hugely disappointed for Felix," said Foley.
"He was a leading example in the way he applied himself through his commitment, work-rate and attention to detail.
"For a player to come in, embody everything that is Munster and have such a presence within the group, he will be sorely missed on and off the field.
"We are very grateful for Felix's immense contribution over the last six years and wish him all the best for the future."
Reacting to news, former team-mate Alan Quinlan told RTÉ Sport: “It’s very sad for Felix.”
“You can’t prepare for it, you can’t get your mind around that, so it’s a shock.
“I’m sure Felix will have known the last few weeks, he’s had a fair few serious injuries which is very tough on him.
“I’ve seen a lot of guys in the last couple of years who I played with in Munster - Ian Dowling, Denis Leamy - guys like that, who had to give up and they had so much more in front of them, and Felix is the same.
“There’s a lot of Irish guys, guys in Leinster, Ulster, Connacht, throughout the country who have had to retire. It’s just very sad.
“His application was incredible, his work ethic, his popularity within the group - with any team he was with - and that’s something that keeps coming trough.
“It was a real privilege and honour to play with the guy, even though I was much older than him and I just got to play with him for about two seasons, I just loved watching him train, I loved watching him go into the gym and just apply himself.
“He was one of these guys who knew nothing else but 100% and maybe that’s what cost him.”