Simon Easterby has decided to retire from international rugby only two days after winning his 65th cap for Ireland.
The former British and Irish Lion, who turns 33 in July, chose St Patrick’s Day to call it a day.
He won his last cap as a replacement against England at Twickenham on Saturday.
The Llanelli Scarlets captain believes the time is right to walk away from the international stage.
“I’d like to thank the Irish management and particularly the players for their support during my international career,” said Easterby, who played in every game of the 2004, 2005, 2006 and 2007 RBS 6 Nations Championships and is Ireland’s most capped back-row forward.
“I’ve been extremely fortunate to play with some of the great players of Irish rugby and it has been a privilege to be involved with them and I’ve enjoyed every minute of it.
“But after eight years in the squad I now feel this is the time to step down.
“With the demands on international rugby players these days, and with a young family, I feel this is the right time to move on to the next stage of my life and over the next two years my main focus is on the Scarlets, where hopefully we can bring some success to the fans.”
Easterby won his first cap against Scotland at Lansdowne Road in 2000 and continued success in an Ireland jersey saw him receive a call-up for the 2005 Lions tour to New Zealand as a replacement for the injured Lawrence Dallaglio.
With Brian O’Driscoll and Paul O’Connell injured, he captained Ireland in the 2005 autumn series.
Easterby still has a further two years to run on his Scarlets contract.