Donncha O'Callaghan has backed Tyler Bleyendaal to contribute as a coach after the Munster out-half was forced to curtail his career on medical grounds at just 29.

The New Zealander announced his decision today, bringing the curtain down on an injury-affected five years at Munster.

Speaking on RTÉ2fm's Game On, former team-mate O'Callaghan praised the province and the retiring player for how they handled the difficult period and decision.

"He was a guy who came in, unfortunately he got injured and I think Munster and the IRFU can be proud of how they treated him. You can talk player welfare but [it's important] when you show it with guys," he said.

"When he came over, the excitement about him - I was in the squad at the time - he had captained New Zealand Under-20s and everyone was chatting about him being the next Dan Carter, so there was great excitement.

"Anthony Foley kept going with, 'Let's look after this young man and let's do the right thing for him'. That was reflected in Tyler being a brilliant player around the squad.

"Because what can be tough sometimes with squad players is they can be negative, especially when they are injured. He was never that. He was selfless for the team.

The out-half last lined out for Munster in November 2019

"So I wish him, his wife and their child all the best and they have another one on the way, so hopefully he sticks around for a bit."

Given Bleyendaal off-field impact and predictions that he has the makings of a future coach, O'Callaghan added that the New Zealander could be a good addition to the Munster coaching staff.

"He would be of the ilk," he said.

"Certainly, he would know the culture for sure. He's a calming influence and he's able to deliver a message really well.

"You chat to an awful lot of the guys and [they say] he could have been coaching during that time he was off anyway.

"But it's where [Munster head coach] Johann van Graan sees that role. They're well equipped now and he would have to bring something to it. 

"But I know from a players' point of view, he's well respected so standing in the front of the room would be easy." 

O'Callaghan also discussed the wider issue of farewells for players and how unfortunately rare it is to see fitting send-offs to a career, with a few notable exceptions.

"It is tough when it isn't your call," he said.

"This is crazy thing to say but the fairytale end, only some players get it, and to be fair only some deserve it.

"I always look at [Brian O'Driscoll's] one where there were blimps with his face on it, and he deserved every bit of that.

"Brian O'Driscoll deserves that kind of a send-off. But some people head out the exit door without even getting a curtain call and I think we're going to see a lot of that over the coronavirus.

"We're going to run out of time to say thanks to so many of these players."