Munster now have an extra reason to secure Magners League glory this season after crowd favourite Alan Quinlan announced his retirement from the sport.
Quinlan, who celebrates his 37th birthday in July this year, has officially announced that he will call time on his illustrious career at the end of the season.
The current league leaders will be desperate to ensure Quinlan departs on a high by lifting what would be his third Magners League crown.
Capped 27 times by Ireland, Quinlan has played 210 competitive games for Munster since making his debut in November 1996, with 105 of those appearances coming in the Magners League.
An original selection for the 2009 Lions tour of South Africa before suspension ruled him out of contention, Quinlan has been a central figure in Munster’s substantial success story in the professional era.
"Alan Quinlan has been an integral part of the success of Munster Rugby for the past 15 years,” said Munster head coach Tony McGahan.
"His longevity in what is a highly attritional profession is a tribute to his dedication, application and durability.
"Alan was a players’ player whose impact in big games and ability to turn a negative situation into a positive action made him a great player to have on your side and a crowd favorite.
"His decision to call it a day at the end of this season of course evokes a sense of poignancy for all of us who have worked with him but it's balanced by the knowledge that he can look back on a great career with pride at what he's achieved.
"He leaves us with our thanks and very best wishes for the future."
Quinlan has made 10 Magners League appearances this season, starting on seven occasions and scoring tries in the victories over the Blues and the Dragons.
The inspirational back rower dislocated his elbow in the late December win over Connacht and was forced to spend two months on the sidelines before returning in the victory at Aironi.
He missed the recent one-point wins over the Blues and Leinster but has been named in an extended squad for Saturday’s trip to face the Scarlets in Llanelli.
Extended Munster squad to face the Scarlets
F Jones, D Hurley, K Earls, P Warwick, D Howlett, L Mafi, S Tuitupou, J Murphy, D Barnes, S Zebo, C Murray, P Stringer, D Williams, D Cusack, R O'Gara, M Horan, D Hurley, W du Preez, T Buckley, J Hayes, S Archer, M Sherry, D Fogs, D Varley, D Ryan, M O'Driscoll. A Quinlan, P Butler, D O'Callaghan, D Wallace, J Coughlan, T O'Donnell, N Ronan, D Leamy