Connacht legend John Muldoon will retire from rugby at the end of the season, writes Stephen Barry.
"I’ve been so proud to be part of it all, but every journey sadly must come to an end," he wrote in a Twitter post.
17 years. 320 games. Broken bones. Big wins. Bad losses. Dozens of teammates. Fewer coaches. Europe. Russia. Celtic league. Pro12. Pro14. Flights. Buses. Friends. Supporters. I've been so proud to be part of it all, but every journey sadly must come to an end... pic.twitter.com/lSHYPDqcY0— John Muldoon (@JohnMuldoon8) January 24, 2018
Muldoon has made 318 appearances in his 17 years with the province, seven years of which were spent as captain.
He led Connacht to their first major trophy in their 131-year history as they lifted the Pro12 title, with Muldoon named man-of-the-match in the final against Leinster.
He continues to be an integral part of Connacht's plans in his final year, having already played 16 games so far this season.
“I am a proud Connacht man and I have been involved with the province for the past 17 years. I have been on an incredible journey during that time but sadly all good things come to an end and for me that time is the end of this season,” he said.
“I have been honoured and humbled to wear the Connacht jersey and particularly to be given the opportunity to captain my home province.
“I’d like to thank everyone at Connacht Rugby, especially coaches and players both past and present. Also, to My wife Lorna and my wonderful family for their constant support down through the years.
“The Connacht supporters have also been incredible throughout my career and have made the Sportsground a fortress where I have always been immensely proud to play and represent this fantastic province.
“I am determined to finish my career on a high and for the remainder of the season I will be doing everything in my power to bring further success to Connacht.”
Willie Ruane, CEO of Connacht Rugby, paid tribute to him, saying “John Muldoon has represented the people of Connacht with massive pride and he epitomises everything that is great about the west of Ireland”.
He played three times for Ireland in summer Tests of 2009 and 2010 against Canada, the United States and New Zealand, but broke his arm in the latter game.
He also played for the Barbarians against Tonga last November.
He wrote on Twitter: "17 years. 320 games. Broken bones. Big wins. Bad losses. Dozens of teammates. Fewer coaches. Europe. Russia. Celtic league. Pro12. Pro14. Flights. Buses. Friends. Supporters. I’ve been so proud to be part of it all, but every journey sadly must come to an end..."