Ex-Munster and Ireland tighthead prop Tony Buckley will be back playing for his former club Kanturk RFC this coming season.
Tony Buckley began his playing career in Kanturk Rugby Club at age 15, going on to play for Leinster School Newbridge College and Limerick club Shannon RFC.
Debuting for Munster in 2005, Buckley has made 88 appearances for the province and scored seven tries in the process.
The 33 year old from Newmarket claimed his first of 25 caps for his country against Argentina in 2007 during a four-year international career before signing a three-year deal with Sale Sharks in 2011.
"The whole town are delighted with the news which is a huge boost for the club," said Michael Breen, Chairperson of Kanturk RFC, who are making the step up to Division 2B of the Ulster Bank League.
"His physical presence on the field as well as his experience in the dressing room will be invaluable to us next season.
"He started his rugby playing career here in Kanturk and always kept in contact with us. Every time he was home he called to the club to lend his support and we have always been very proud of him and his achievements.
"Tony travelled to Shaw's Bridge in Belfast last season to witness our historic promotion to a senior club.
"A few players that were on the field that day played with Tony at youth level and look forward to playing with him again next season in the green and white of Kanturk."
Commenting on his retirement from the professional game, Buckley, who is widely known by his nickname 'Mushy', said: "I have decided to make the tough decision to retire from professional rugby."
"I have been in talks with clubs from London and Paris and beyond but will instead play for Kanturk, the club where I started playing around 18 years ago.
"I would just like to thank my family, especially my mother and my wife for all their support throughout my career and the sacrifices they made to ensure I could continue playing until now.
"Also I would like to thank all the coaches and backroom staff whom I had the pleasure of working with along the way.
"In all I had a really enjoyable career, travelled the world and played for my country, with a lot of success with Kanturk, Newbridge College, Shannon and Munster.
"I am lucky that I have emerged from professional rugby relatively intact and capable of enjoying my last couple of seasons with the club I started with. For now it's back to civilian life."
I am delighted to extend a very Happy Christmas and safe and peaceful New Year to our extensive rugby family.
Christmas time marks a halfway point in the rugby season and while we can look back and be greatly sustained by events of 2014, I believe we can also look forward with due optimism to what awaits in 2015.
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