18 May, 11:09
IRFU Chief Executive Philip Browne has issued a statement following confirmation of Ronan O'Gara's decision to retire from playing professional rugby.
Ireland International prop Reggie Corrigan has announced his retirement from International Rugby.
The announcement comes after the confirmation yesterday that David Humphreys has also decided to call time on his international career, but will continue to play for Ulster until June 2007.
Corrigan will also continue to play for Leinster for the remainder of this season and next season.
Corrigan won his first cap against Canada in November 1997 when he came on as a replacement and went on to win his first start for Ireland against Italy later that month. During his Ireland career, the Greystones club man won 47 Caps, with his last cap coming against France in Paris during the 2006 RBS Six Nations Championship.
He played for Ireland in the 1999 and 2003 World Cup tournaments and captained Ireland on two occasions against Tonga and Western Samoa in 2003.
Commenting on his decision, Reggie Corrigan said, It has always been a huge honour for me to wear the Ireland jersey, none more so then over the last six years where the fortunes of both the team and Irish Rugby have continued to rise. Although every professional sportsman wishes they could continue forever, I have been lucky to have a career playing the game I love.
He continued, This is the right time for me to make this decision from both a personal and professional point of view in advance of the World Cup. I would like take this opportunity to personally thank Eddie O'Sullivan and wish him and the rest of the Ireland squad the very best for the immediate future.
...David Humphreys on his last full appearence for Ireland when he Captained the side against Romania...
David Humphreys earlier confirmed that he has retired from international rugby after signing a one year extension to his Ulster contract that will see him play until June 2007.
The decision ends speculation over the 34 year olds future plans as his current contract with Ulster was due to expire at the end of this season.
During his career he amassed 72 Irish caps over 11 seasons in international rugby, making first appearance for Ireland against France back in 1996. During this time he became Ireland's most capped flyhalf and continued his see saw battle with Ronan O'Gara as first choice out half.
Both players also held the record as Ireland's top points scorer during this time, with Humphreys last holding the record following his last start for Ireland against Romania in the November internationals.
His career with Ulster has also had some magnificent highs, with the European Cup win in 1999 being the pinnacle.
Commenting on the news, "Playing for Ireland has been the highlight of my career and all I ever wanted to do was play once for Ireland. There have been many highlights, and disappointments, but I think when I look back the good memories will be more general".
He continued, "I haven't played so much with Ireland this year and it's now time to concentrate on Ulster a bit more, It would have been very easy to retire completely but looking at the quality of young players coming through I think there are very exciting times ahead for Ulster and I want to be a part of that."
Commenting on the news, Ireland Coach Eddie O'Sullivan said, "Both David and Reggie have been wonderful servants to the Ireland team and rugby in general. During my time with the national team, both players were senior members of the squad and natural leaders, with both of them captaining the side."
He continued, "David's wish to spend more time with his young family is understandable and I wish him the very best for his career plans. He was one of the most gifted players to wear the green jersey and played a key part in the success of the Ireland team over the last number of years. I am sure that he will continue to be a strong influence with Ulster."
Commenting on Reggie Corrigan's decision, "Reggie's natural athleticism and strength were massive attributes to the team. He was a key member of the side and an integral part of our first Triple Crown win in 19 years in 2004. I believe that Reggie will be remembered as one of Ireland''s great front row forwards."