Ireland captain Ciara Griffin said it has been the “highest honour” leading her country as she announced her retirement from international rugby.
Griffin, who has captained Ireland since 2018, has decided to “turn my focus to my life outside of rugby”.
The 27-year-old will make her farewell appearance in Saturday’s autumn Test against Japan in Dublin.
“It has been a childhood dream come true to play for my country,” said the Munster back row.
“Being afforded the opportunity to captain the national team has been the highest honour.
“It has been an incredible journey filled with many highs and lows and I am very grateful for all the life skills I have developed through my involvement in high performance sport.”
Kerry native Griffin made her Test debut against Wales in the 2016 Women’s Six Nations and has gone on to win 40 caps, having been named captain in January 2018.
On Friday, Griffin said she was the “proudest person in the country” after leading Ireland to a 20-10 win over the United States in Dublin at the end of a week dominated by the fallout from comments made by Irish Rugby Football Union women’s director Anthony Eddy, who denied that the 15-a-side game had been neglected in recent years.
“It is a decision I have not come to lightly and after discussing it with my family ahead of the autumn Tests, it is now time for me to turn my focus to my life outside of rugby and begin a new chapter,” she added.
“I would like to thank everyone for their unwavering support, and I look forward to supporting the team going forward.”
Outgoing Ireland head coach Adam Griggs described Griffin as a “genuine leader”.
“She wears her heart on her sleeve and it is that leadership style, along with her passion and dedication to making people and the team better, that has always been so effective,” said Griggs, who will be replaced by Greg McWilliams at the end of the November internationals.
“Ciara has led the way with her standards and what it takes to be a first-class international, and I know in doing this has inspired so many young players to take up rugby and try to emulate her own journey.
“Irish rugby will miss her, and we wish her all the best in retirement and the next chapter of her life.”