Former Ireland international Peter Stringer has retired at the age of 40.

The veteran scrum-half returned to his homeland late last year after a spell with English club Worcester Warriors in the Premiership.

Stringer earned 98 caps for his country and won the Grand Slam once and Triple Crown three times in a distinguished 11-year international career.

He was also a key member of the Munster team who lifted the Heineken Cup in 2006, but has now called time on his playing days.

"From the age of five all I ever dreamed of doing was playing rugby. I cannot describe how it feels to have lived that dream for nearly all my life." he tweeted.

"The journey has been an uncompromising obsession filled with memories I will cherish forever.

"To the coaches who never saw my size as disadvantageous, thank you. To my team-mates who motivated and inspired me, thank you. To my parents and brothers, I could not have reached my goals without you.

"Thank you to my clubs in England - Saracens, Newcastle, Bath, Sale and Worcester who gave me an opportunity to continue playing the game I love.

"However, my proudest days on a rugby field came from wearing the red of Munster and the green of Ireland and will remain with me for the rest of my life."