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.
Having made his debut in 1994 in the match between Romania and Wales, he entered the 5 Nations Championship the following year in Paris when France played Scotland. He also refereed two European Cup finals and officiated in the Rugby World Cups of 1995, '99 and 2003.
Dave, who announces his retirement having refereed last Saturday's Calcutta Cup match in Murrayfield, said, Scotland v England in the 6 Nations is as important a match as there is in Test rugby and I feel it is an appropriate time for me to finish.
While there is obviously a tinge of regret, I have been fortunate to have been involved for a long time, and have enjoyed it all immensely. I am particularly grateful to those who have advised and coached me along the way and to Unions throughout the World for their courtesy and friendly hospitality at all times.
Irish refereeing has never been stronger and to have four of us controlling matches in this year's 6 Nations is a testimony to the structures which the IRFU have in place.
7 He will now concentrate on the development, training and coaching of referees in his recently appointed position as a Referee Development Officer with the IRFU.