Former London Irish captain and club stalwart, Bob Casey, is set to retire at the end of the current season.
Over the past decade Casey has made 233 appearances for the Exiles, including a combined total of 65 appearances in the Heineken Cup and the Amlin Challenge Cup, scoring six tries. He captained the club between 2007 and 2011 including leading the team in its Heineken Cup semi-final with Toulouse in 2009 and the Premiership final against Leicester Tigers in 2010.
The 33-year-old played for Ireland on seven occasions and led Ireland A in the Churchill Cup tournament in the United States in 2009. He also played twice for the Barbarians and will join Powerday plc as a senior business development manager.
Powerday is principal sponsor of London Irish and ranks among the leading environmental waste management companies in the United Kingdom.
Commenting on his decision to retire from the game, Casey said: "I've thoroughly enjoyed my rugby career both with Leinster and London Irish and have lots of great memories. I've been fortunate to play with many talented players and work with gifted coaches and would like to thank them and the medical staff that have looked after me so well. My special thanks must also go to all the supporters, business and individual, of London Irish in particular, for their exceptional welcome and encouragement over the past ten years. While I will miss them on the field, I hope to keep in contact with them in my new role. In the meantime, there are four key matches to play and I remain focussed and determined to do all that I can to help London Irish secure a place in next season's Heineken Cup."
Andy Martin, London Irish Chief Executive said: "We cannot pay tribute enough to Bob. His commitment to the badge, the game and supporters is second to none. He has been an exceptional ambassador for London Irish and on behalf of everyone at the club I would like to thank him for his outstanding contribution over the last ten years. As captain he led the squad through some of its most successful years, always a role model and a prolific and tenacious performer. Whilst he is retiring and we are extremely sad to lose him as a player, we are absolutely delighted that he is joining Powerday and so will still very much remain part of the London Irish family."
As part of the build-up to next month's Cardiff 2014 Heineken Cup and Amlin Challenge Cup finals weekend, ERC has joined forces with the WRU, Cardiff Blues and adidas to develop an annual grassroots community rugby programme targeting young players.
The Ulster Rugby full back, Jared Payne (No 15), has been suspended for two (2) weeks following an independent Disciplinary Hearing in Dublin arising from the Heineken Cup quarter-final match against Saracens at Ravenhill Stadium on Saturday, 5 April.