As one Ireland Test career began another ended with Leinster back row Eric Miller and Munster centre Barry Murphy heading in opposite directions at Lansdowne Road.
Miller, a tourist with the 1997 British & Irish Lions, announced his retirement from international rugby on Monday, although he will continue to play for Leinster until the end of the season.
Murphy, meanwhile, has taken the first step of his international career by winning a call-up to Ireland's RBS 6 Nations squad as cover for the injured Girvan Dempsey.
If Murphy goes on to emulate Miller's 48-cap haul he will have done well, but that total would have been far higher had the versatile Miller not been dogged by injury throughout his time in the Test arena.
The 30-year-old played in the 1999 and 2003 World Cups and made the last of his international appearances during the 2005 summer tour to Japan.
Miller's chances of forcing his way back into Ireland's starting line-up have also grown increasingly remote because of the competition for places in the back row.
Ireland head coach Eddie O'Sullivan: "Eric has been a magnificent servant to both Leinster and Ireland.
"The first year I coached Eric was at Under-21 level where he was hugely influential in Ireland winning its first Triple Crown at that level in 1996.
"As a testament to his skill and ability at that age, he became a Lion the following year when he toured South Africa.
"In recent years he has been an ever present in Irish squads, but has been consistently unlucky with injuries, often sustained due to the committed nature in which he plays the game.
"I wish him every success in his future career plans."
Murphy has played in all six of Munster's European Cup matches this season with his man-of-the-match display in Saturday's stunning 31-9 demolition of Premiership leaders Sale proving his best yet.
The 23-year-old scored an explosive solo in front of O'Sullivan who was watching from the stands and has been called up as cover for calf-injury victim Dempsey.
O'Sullivan said: "Barry has shown significant improvement with every game he has played this year with Munster.
"His call-up to the national squad is due reward for his performances to date."
O'Sullivan's 35-man squad for the forthcoming RBS 6 Nations championship assembled at a south Dublin hotel on Sunday night after their European Cup exertions.
In addition to Dempsey's injury - the Leinster back's fitness will be assessed over the next few days - a total of 17 players were unavailable for training on Monday due to various minor injuries, forcing O'Sullivan to cancel a planned afternoon session.
O'Sullivan said: "Although none of the injuries are a major fitness concern, given the fatigue levels after the weekend, there is no benefit to be had from training.
"The players will need some time to recover from what was a tough but hugely successful weekend for Ireland in Europe.
"The extra day's rest will allow the players to recover sufficiently to hit the ground running on Tuesday."