12 Dec, 14:42
Prop Cian Healy is expected to miss the start of the 2014 RBS 6 Nations after undergoing surgery on his injured ankle on Wednesday.
Ireland back row Eric Miller has announced his retirement from international rugby - with immediate effect.
A current member of the Leinster squad, the 30-year-old Miller has decided to call time on his career with Ireland, but will continue to see out his current contract with Leinster until the end of this season, at which time he will retire from all rugby.
Miller won 48 caps for Ireland, making his debut against Italy in 1997, and scored six Test tries. He was selected for the first ever professional tour by the British & Irish Lions to South Africa that same year, where he was the youngest member of the touring party.
Miller played for Ireland in the 1999 and 2003 World Cup tournaments. He was also capped for Ireland at Schools, Under-21 and 'A' levels.
In 2005, Miller made six appearances for Ireland - four as a replacement against Italy, Scotland, Wales and France in the Six Nations. He also toured Japan in June with the men in green, coming off the bench in the first Test against the Cherry Blossoms and starting the second one - what proved to be his final game for the his country.
Commenting on the news, Ireland coach Eddie O'Sullivan said: "Eric has been a magnificent servant to both Leinster and Ireland. The first year I coached Eric was at Under-21 level where he was hugely influential in Ireland winning its first Triple Crown at that level in 1996. As a testament to his skill and ability at that age, he became a Lion the following year when he toured South Africa.
"In recent years he has been an ever present in Irish squads, but has been consistently unlucky with injuries, often sustained due to the committed nature in which he plays the game. I wish him every success in his future career plans."
IRFU Chief Executive Philip Browne said: "I would like to take this opportunity to wish Eric the very best of luck for the future and thank him for his services to Irish rugby."
Leinster Rugby Chief Executive Mick Dawson added: "Eric has been a model professional throughout his career. His departure at the end of this season will leave a big hole in our squad as players of Eric's ability are very hard to replace. I wish him all the best."