'To the coaches who never saw my size as a disadvantage, thank you' - Peter Stringer announces retirement
Former Munster and Ireland legend Peter Stringer is hanging up his boots.
After having made his international debut in 2000, Stringer went on to play 76 of Ireland's 85 games between then and 2006 and featured at two Rugby World Cups. He also played a pivotal role in Ireland Grand Slam success in 2009.
Stringer began his professional journey with Munster Rugby back in 1998.
The number nine went on to spend 15 years at his hometown Club where he won three Celtic League titles and reached four Heineken Cup finals - finishing on the winning side twice.
After amassing 230 appearances for Munster, Stringer enjoyed loan spells at Saracens and Newcastle Falcons in the 2011/12 season before signing for Bath Rugby in 2013.
He played 62 times for the West Country outfit before making the move north to Sale Sharks - where he featured 39 times and picked up a Player of the Season award in 2015/16.
He joined Worcester at the beginning of last season on a six-month contract.
The 40-year-old confirmed his retirement today in an emotional message on Twitter.
"From the age of 5 all I ever dreamed of was playing rugby. I cannot describe how it feels to have lived that dream for nearly all of my life," he wrote.
"The journey has been an uncompromising obsession filled with memories I will cherish forever.
Goodbye pic.twitter.com/nd7hNW7Xfm— Peter Stringer (@stringer9) June 26, 2018
What an incredible career...Munster and Ireland rugby legend @Stringer9 has announced his retirement from the game at the age of 40. So many amazing memories to cherish #SUAF🔴 #ThanksPeter pic.twitter.com/GdCxwt2kwW— Munster Rugby (@Munsterrugby) June 26, 2018
"To the coaches who never saw my size as a disadvantage, thank you.
"To my teammates who motivated and inspired me, thank you.
"To my parents and brothers, I could not have reached my goals without you.
"Thank you to my clubs in England - Saracens, Newcastle, Bath, Sale and Worcester who gave me an opportunity to continue playing the game I love.
"However, my proudest days on a rugby field came from wearing the red of Munster and the green of Ireland and will remain with me for the rest of my life.
"To those supporters, you are incredible people who stood by me and cheered for me no matter who I played for and for that, I will be forever grateful
"Lastly, thank you to Debbie my wife, of the last 10 years when I faced some difficult decisions, you were there for me and backed me every step of the way.
"Here's to the next chapter. Strings."