Retired players: The best XV of aces to hang up their boots this season

Lock: DONNCHA O’CALLAGHAN 

After a glittering 20-year career, the giant lock will hang up his boots at the age of 39. O’Callaghan amassed 98 Test caps, with 94 for Ireland and four for the British & Irish Lions, while he also represented the illustrious Barbarians on two occasions.

He captained the Lions in South Africa in 2009 and featured in three consecutive World Cups for Ireland between 2003 and 2011, and won the Six Nations Grand Slam in 2009.

O’Callaghan also had a decorated 17-year spell with hometown side Munster, where he won two Heineken Cup titles and two Magners League titles in his 268 appearances.


Lock: JASON EATON 

Eaton has announced that he will retire from rugby at the end of the season as he struggles to recover from concussion. The former All Black suffered the injury playing against fellow French club Clermont early last month and has taken the decision to retire because his condition hasn’t improved during his time on the sidelines.


Flanker: SAM WARBURTON

British and Irish Lions captain Sam Warburton has retired from rugby at the age of 29 after winning 79 Test caps. The former Wales captain has not played since leading the 2017 Lions to a drawn series against New Zealand.


Flanker: SAM JONES

Jones has retired on medical advice after failing to recover fully from an injury sustained at an England training camp. He fractured his fibula and suffered significant damage to his ankle while grappling with British and Irish Lion Maro Itoje during a judo session in October 2016.


Number 8: ALLY HOGG

The 35-year-old, who won the last of his 48 Scotland caps in 2009, has played an instrumental part in helping the Falcons reach the play-offs. His match-winning try at Leicester last week proved decisive in securing a semi-final spot for the first time.

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