Outgoing Munster second row Ian Nagle has decided to take a break from professional rugby for the immediate future.
In April Ian Nagle, who was on loan to Newcastle Falcons, confirmed that he would leave Munster at the end of the 2013/14 season.
The former Glenstal Abbey student and UCC Commerce graduate has now made the decision to further his education in seeking a graduate management programme place while working in Washington DC.
The Buttevant man, who is 25, does not wish to close the door on rugby completely at this stage but will not pursue any professional rugby opportunities for the immediate future.
Commenting on his decision, Nagle said: "The opportunity arose to join a friend in launching a consultancy firm in DC. It's a big decision to take time out from rugby but an exciting challenge to focus on something completely different.
"I would like to wish the management and all the lads the very best for the season and give huge thanks to the extended Munster family, who I know have many exciting days ahead."
Munster head coach Anthony Foley will be eager to get a number of his walking wounded back to full fitness for his side's return to GUINNESS PRO12 action against Cardiff Blues in Cork on Saturday, February 14.
Belfast has been chosen as the host city for the 2015 GUINNESS PRO12 final on Saturday, May 30 at 6.30pm. The league decider will be played at Kingspan Stadium, the home of Ulster Rugby. Tickets will go on public sale on Tuesday, February 3 through Ticketmaster and Ulster Rugby.
Speaking to Rob Murphy after Connacht's PRO12 victory over the Dragons, head coach Pat Lam said: "There are some things to learn from, but we're pleased to start with a win. When you consider nine in that starting group are under 23, it's good to see some of those talented guys get a chance - particularly the new ones."
Irish Rugby TV ventured west to cover the launch of Mazda's continued support of Connacht Rugby. We hear from new arrival and Mazda Ambassador Mils Muliaina, Kieran Marmion, Jake Heenan and former captain Gavin Duffy.
Looking forward to the new GUINNESS PRO12 season, Connacht captain John Muldoon said: "We've a lot of younger guys who have big years ahead of them and a few big name signings who will hopefully be able to fit into the system and work hard among the ethos of Connacht Rugby."
Irish Rugby TV was at the launch of the GUINNESS PRO12 and we caught up with Jamie Heaslip, Pat Lam, John Muldoon, Matt O'Connor and Rory Sheridan of Diageo as the new sponsor gets ready to kick off an exciting season.
Speaking during Connacht's training trip to Ballinrobe RFC, captain John Muldoon said: "It's great to see the jerseys and the people coming out to support us today. Long may it continue because we're not a Galway team, we're a Connacht team and that's what we want to push and that's why we come out on these days out."
Young hooker David Heffernan, who extended his current deal with Connacht in April, enjoyed a trip back to his native Mayo as Pat Lam's men held an open training session at Ballinrobe RFC earlier this week.
Rob Murphy caught up with Connacht head coach Pat Lam after their bonus point win at home to Benetton Treviso. The westerners have been in resurgent form of late, picking up three straight league victories and 14 points from a possible 15.