Ronan O'Gara's retirement from professional rugby brings to an end an achievement-packed career that saw him dominate matches in Ireland and around the world in the colours of Cork Constitution, Munster, Ireland and the British & Irish Lions.
The fixtures for the 2014 and 2015 RBS 6 Nations Championships were announced today. Ireland will begin next year's tournament with back-to-back home matches, taking on Scotland and reigning champions Wales at the Aviva Stadium in the space of six days.
At a disciplinary hearing before an independent Six Nations disciplinary committee today, Ireland centre Brian O'Driscoll was suspended for three weeks having been cited for an alleged stamp on Italy's Simone Favaro in Rome last Saturday.
After 22 rounds and two play-off games, the 2012/13 RaboDirect PRO12 season wraps up on Saturday with the final at the RDS appropriately between respective first and second seeds and provincial rivals, Ulster and Leinster.
Samoan international James So'oialo will join the Connacht squad this summer. So'oialo, who played in the 2011 Rugby World Cup, was recently named in the Samoan squad for their upcoming tour to South Africa where they will face Scotland, Italy and the Golden Lions.
Following the epic Dublin 2013 finals which featured Heineken Cup success for Toulon and an Amlin Challenge Cup victory for Leinster, there was good news on the qualification front for Connacht and Perpignan who both secured places in the 2013/14 Heineken Cup.
Isa Nacewa, who is retiring from professional rugby at the end of the season, was thrilled to receive the Amlin Challenge Cup alongside Jonathan Sexton following Leinster's 34-13 final victory over Stade Francais on Friday.