Munster and Ireland flanker Tommy O'Donnell has announced he is to retire at the end of the season.

The Tipperary-born back-row forward, who turns 34 next month, is to retire at the conclusion of the upcoming Rainbow Cup, which will bring the curtain down on Munster's 2020-21 campaign.

Making his debut in 2007, O'Donnell spent his entire career in Munster, racking up 186 appearances for the province in 14 years. He also earned 13 caps for Ireland between 2013 and 2019.

"It has been the greatest honour and privilege to represent Munster Rugby for the past 14 seasons. 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."

"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."

Having nailed down a place as a regular Munster starter in the 2011-12, O'Donnell was named the province's Player of the Year for the 2012-13 season.

O'Donnell in action against England in the 2015 Six Nations championship

He subsequently earned international recognition, featuring in Ireland's Six Nations campaigns in 2014 and 2015.

In total, he made seven Six Nations appearances between 2014 and 2016, three as a starter, but his prospects were often impeded by injury, a hip dislocation ruling him out of contention for a spot in the 2015 World Cup squad.

He made his final cap for Ireland in a World Cup warm-up victory over Italy in August 2019.

Munster head coach Johann Van Graan paid tribute to O'Donnell on the Munster Rugby website:

"Tommy has been a brilliant player for Munster Rugby and has made a massive contribution to this club, always giving 100% in every situation.

"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."

Ex-Munster second row Donncha O'Callaghan paid tribute to his former team-mate on 2fm's Game On.

"He always gave his all," said O'Callaghan. "He always put his body on the line.

"A great fella to tog out with and he should be really proud of his career, putting in a massive shift so many times for Munster."

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