18 May, 12:24
The news today that Ronan O'Gara's long and distinguished playing time is over, brings to a close what was by any standards, a remarkable career.
However, Paul O'Connell, Donncha O'Callaghan, Donnacha Ryan, Peter O'Mahony, Conor Murray, either Mike Sherry or Damien Varley, Simon Zebo and Felix Jones can all expect to be swopping their Munster for Ireland.
The absence of Rob Kearney means the return to action of Jones is particularly opportune and like Ronan O'Gara and Keith Earls, Jones is likely to be included in Declan Kidney's squad but could be involved in Munster's game against Cardiff Blues Friday week with a view to them getting much needed game time.
And if the Ireland coach is to go on current form when assembling his squad then Munster's loose-head Dave Kilcoyne could also be named while James Downey, Denis Hurley and Sean Dougall are also contenders. The Ireland squad will be named at 12 today.
Meanwhile Munster have their first squad session of the week in Cork today as they prepare for the visit of the Italian new boys.