A knee injury was a major contributing factor for the Belfast-born prop
Munster player John Andress has announced his retirement from professional rugby.
The Belfast-born prop had joined Munster from Edinburgh in the summer, but has struggled with the effects of a knee injury.
The 32-year old says his body is no longer able to withstand the rigors of the professional game.
The former Ireland A cap, who spent periods at English clubs Exeter, Harlequins and Worcester during the course of his career, released a statement on the Munster Rugby official website, explaining his decision.
"The time has finally come to announce my retirement from professional rugby.
"After 12 seasons I no longer feel that my body is capable of the rigours that the pro game requires. I feel extremely privileged to have been able to live out my childhood dream. I am also proud of the fact I played in over 200 pro games for Exeter, Harlequins, Worcester and Edinburgh Rugby.
"Although my time at Munster Rugby hasn't worked out the way I would have hoped for I am glad to have experienced such a special environment. I only wish I had been here in my prime. Munster Rugby truly is a club that embodies all the core moral values that this great game teaches us. I wish Rassie and the lads all the best and I am positive the squad will enjoy continued success.
"I have many fond memories of big matches and occasions but nothing is more memorable than the people you meet and the bonds you share. The camaraderie in rugby really is special and unique, and will no doubt be the hardest void to fill.
"Special mention goes to Belfast Harlequins, where the journey started, Andre Bester, Alan Solomons and Rob Baxter. These three coaches truly inspired me with their hard work, commitment and passion for the game, and in doing so, I feel they got the best out of me.
"I would also like to thank my agent Shaun Longstaff who continually worked hard for me, supporting me in rugby and life.
"Here is to the next chapter, whatever that maybe. I will continue to keep an eye on the game I love."