Munster's Doug Howlett has been forced to retire from professional rugby due to injury.

Howlett sustained a shoulder injury in the RaboDirect PRO12 game against Glasgow Warriors in March and hasn’t been able to play since the incident, which occurred as Munster scored their third try.

The 34-year-old had been in contract extension negotiations with Munster but underwent surgery earlier this month but has now been advised to retire at the end of this season.

The former All-Black joined Munster in January 2008 and played a key role in their Heineken Cup success that season. He won his 100th cap in the October 2012 league game against Leinster and ends his Munster career as the all-time second leading try scorer with 35 tries after five and a half seasons.

Other departures from the current squad - besides Peter Stringer who remains with Bath, Marcus Horan who announced his retirement recently, Sean Scanlon (Rotherham Titans) and Sean Henry (Connacht) - include Wian du Preez who returns to his native South Africa, Scott Deasy and Christy Condon.

BJ Botha will continue on with Munster having signed a two-year contract extension, while Danny Barnes has not been re-contracted but is understood to have negotiated an opportunity to play abroad.


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