"In accepting his wish to step down, I want to emphasise the high regard the Union has for him and the achievements he attained during his reign in office.
"His record as Ireland's most successful coach is his proud legacy and all of us in Irish rugby are grateful to him for the many memorable moments and achievements our senior Irish players and squads attained to during his coaching tenure.
"I want to congratulate and thank him for that contribution to Irish rugby and to wish him every success in his future career.
"The matter of other management personnel will be dealt with as part of the RBS Six Nations review. The IRFU will now address the vacant position of head coach."