Ulster rugby announced the not unexpected news on Monday morning that Jared Payne has been forced to retire from rugby.
The New Zealand-born back will take up the role of defence coach with Ulster.
The 32-year-old was unable to recover from a head injury which he sustained during the Lions' tour of New Zealand last summer.
💥 BREAKING NEWS 💥
We can confirm that Jared Payne has been forced to retire from playing professional rugby and will become our new Defence Coach pic.twitter.com/SmqFnxTO9w
— Ulster Rugby (@UlsterRugby) May 28, 2018
IRFU performance director, David Nucifora, said that Payne will spend time with the Ireland coaching team during this summer's tour of Australia.
Payne played 78 times for Ulster along with winning 20 caps for Ireland.
"While I will undoubtedly miss the buzz of running out with mates every weekend, I have to listen to the medical advice and unfortunately give up the dream," said Payne.
"However, I've surprised myself how much I have enjoyed coaching and I'm really looking forward to getting my teeth into this role on a permanent basis."
Picture credit: Brendan Moran / SPORTSFILE