Following extensive medical consultation, Munster regretfully announce that Ian Dowling will retire from professional rugby, as a result of a hip injury sustained earlier in the season.
Dowling (28) suffered a hip injury in the game against Ospreys last September.
In the course of a career that started in September 2005, the Kilkenny native won 97 competitive caps and played in both the 2006 and 2008 Heineken Cup finals and won a Magners League medal in 2009.. He would have added greatly to that final total but for injury in 2007 and last season when he was stretchered off in the Heineken Cup quarter final game against Northampton at Thomond Park Stadium.
It was a knee injury on that occasion that forced him to miss the rest of the season and he was only playing in his third competitive game that September day when he sustained the hip injury, four minutes into the game, that would ultimately end his career.
The hugely popular member of the squad made his debut in the Magners League game against Lllanelli Scarlets in Musgrave Park and ended his first season with 15 caps and a Heineken Cup winners medal having played in the quarter, semi and final of that competition.
A try scorer in the 2008 quarter final win over Gloucester at Kingsholm he won his second Heineken Cup medal lining out on the wing against Toulouse and a year later won the first of his two international caps against Canada on Ireland's summer tour of North America.
Commenting Tony McGahan said, "To hear the news of Ian’s premature retirement is a blow to everyone at the club. Ian’s successful career was underpinned by consistency, hard work and honesty.
These values are highly regarded by the Munster squad and the supporters.
" Ian’s name was one of the first put down on the team sheet because of the way he played to his potential every week.
" He allowed himself this standard of performance because of the way he approached every day demanding the best out of himself and his fellow players. He can be proud of his achievements for Munster and the integral role he played in the success of the teams he was involved in.
As a teammate and friend there wasn't anything he wouldn't do. He brought an attitude and application that was in the best traditions of Munster Rugby.
"I and all in Munster Rugby wish him every success in the future."