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.
Champions Shannon rose back to the top of the AIB League Division One standings thanks to a two-try 13-8 victory against Blackrock at Thomond Park.
AIB LEAGUE: DIVISION ONE: Saturday, January 28
SHANNON 13 BLACKROCK COLLEGE 8, Thomond Park
Scorers: Shannon: Tries: Colm McMahon, Sean Cronin; Pen: Dave Delaney
Blackrock: Try: Sean Byrne; Pen: Killian McGowan
Back row Colm McMahon, Shannon's captain for the season, scored a try on his first start since breaking the fourth metatarsal bone in his foot in October, while Ireland Under-21 hooker Sean Cronin also touched down to help Mick Galwey's men up back up to first - just a single point clear of Limerick rivals Garryowen.
Blackrock, walloped by Cork Constitution (49-0) and Lansdowne (71-15) in recent weeks, proved sticky opponents and were unfortunate to be left trailing 5-3 at the break.
'Rock fly half Killian McGowan landed a 21st-minute penalty, but McMahon, just five minutes later, made the breakthrough for the home side, scoring his try in the left corner.
Dave Delaney swept the conversion wide and a rather listless first half was closed out with a yellow card for the visitors' prop Garrett Fitzgerald for persistent infringing.
Ten minutes into the second half, Brian Tuohy did well to stave off a certain try from 'Rock scrum half Ross Molloy who broke off the back of a ruck.
Blackrock did get their try, an unconverted one on 54 minutes, when prop Sean Byrne ploughed over after an Eddie Manawaiti break.
Shannon number 10 Delaney squared it up at eight-apiece on 63 minutes and Cronin's try, five minutes later, proved to be the final scoring act.
DUBLIN UNIVERSITY 8 LANSDOWNE 33, College Park
Scorers: Dublin Uni: Try: Darren Hayes; Pen: Johnny Watt
Lansdowne: Tries: Fiachra Baynes, David Lavin, Jim O'Donovan, Greg Stafford, Neil Walsh; Cons: Corey Burt 3, Brian O'Meara
Lansdowne moved up to ninth in the Division One table courtesy of a five-try romp at Dublin University.
Player-coach Brian O'Meara came off the bench to convert winger Neil "Horse" Walsh's 73rd-minute try, but by that time, Lansdowne were already out of sight in their first ever league visit to College Park.
Lansdowne's record league try-scorer Fiachra Baynes waltzed over for an early try - ending an excellent January for the former Ireland Sevens international with four tries in four games - and blindside flanker David Lavin (19), number 8 Jim O'Donovan (24 minutes) and centre Greg Stafford (44) also got in on the scoring act.
The visitors led 19-8 at the break - the college side's points came from a Johnny Watt penalty (13) and a try from flanker Darren Hayes (23).
GARRYOWEN 10 CLONTARF 18, Dooradoyle
Scorers: Garryowen: Try: Paul Neville; Con: Gerry Hurley; Pen: Conor Kilroy
Clontarf: Tries: Derek Keane 2; Con: Darragh O'Shea; Pens: O'Shea 2
Garryowen lost their grip on the only unbeaten record left in the top flight when a brace of tries from winger Derek Keane handed Clontarf a prized win at Dooradoyle.
Keane took his top-scoring tally for the season to nine tries in ten games as he touched down in either half. Garryowen mustered a try of their own, early in the second half, when their pack disrupted the Dubliners' scrum and flanker Paul Neville took the ball on to score.
'Tarf, who led 6-3 at the interval, sealed the win on 73 minutes with Keane's second try, converted by Darragh O'Shea.