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."
Ulster and Ireland prop Declan Fitzpatrick is to retire from rugby on medical grounds. The 31-year-old played 98 times for Ulster and made seven Test appearances for Ireland, three of which were against the All Blacks. He also represented the Ireland Wolfhounds on nine occasions.
The GUINNESS PRO12 final at Kingspan Stadium in Belfast on Saturday, May 30 is nearing a sell-out with just over 400 terrace tickets left for public sale and very strong ticket interest among the five teams still in contention for the play-offs. Each of the finalists will receive 2,000 tickets and these are expected to be snapped up quickly.
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.