In March 2002, he won the first of 17 international, scoring two tries against Italy at Lansdowne Road and finished his international career at RWC 2003.
Kelly appeared in three Heineken Cup finals. His last appearance in a Munster jersey was against Saracens in a pre-season friendly at Musgrave Park in September
"It has been a privilege to represent Munster for the last ten years," Kelly said, " I have enjoyed my time in the squad on both a professional and personal level, and I will look back on my career with great satisfaction and fond memories" .
Munster coach Declan Kidney commented, "Over the past ten years John Kelly epitomised everything that is good about Munster Rugby. He is (was) exceptionally hard working, extremely talented, and always a team player. It is always sad when a player comes to the end of his rugby career and he will be missed. We all wish him every success in his future career."