Former Ireland international Ian Madigan has announced his retirement from professional rugby at the age of 34.

The Ulster out-half steps away from the game after a 14-year professional career, during which time he played more than 250 games for club and country.

In recent seasons, Madigan has been troubled by a series of injuries and was limited to just five appearances for Ulster in the 2022/23 campaign.

He confirmed his retirement in a statement on Instagram this morning, and said his 31 Ireland caps between 2013 and 2016 were the standout of his career.

"Without doubt the highlight of my career was representing our great island of Ireland, in particular at the World Cup in 2015," Madigan said.

"Those are memories that I will cherish forever. Thank you Joe Schmidt for backing me and teaching me how this great game can be played. You are a fantastic coach but what I will always remember is how you treated me as a young man, challenging me to be the best that I could be and always filling me with confidence. Your record in Leinster and Ireland speaks for itself."

Madigan came through at his home province of Leinster where he made his debut against the Dragons in May 2009, and would go on to make 147 appearances in blue, winning two Champions Cups, two URC titles and a Challenge Cup.

With starting opportunities hampered by Johnny Sexton at Leinster, Madigan completed a surprise move to Bordeaux-Begles in 2016, with his departure from the Irish system effectively ending his Test career.

A year later he joined Bristol, helping them earn promotion to the English Premiership, and played 50 times for Pat Lam's side before returning to Ireland with Ulster in 2020.

His Ulster career started in spectacular fashion as he kicked the winning points in their Pro14 semi-final win away to Edinburgh, but a number of injuries limited him to just 32 appearances for the province.

"Thank you Dan McFarland for bringing me to Ulster. The final three years of my career were so enjoyable. I would love to have played more but that's professional sport.

"The relationships l've made with the players and staff in this great club are ones for a lifetime. I am proud to call myself an UIster man and look forward to living in Belfast for the foreseeable.

"Thank you to the medical staff for rehabbing me back from my knee injury, last season in-particular, Dr Michael Webb, Dr Ray Moran, Chris McNichol, David Minion and Ali McFarland."

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