Just two days after his 25th birthday, talented outhalf Johnny Holland has been forced to retire.
The playmaker, who became Munster's first choice 10 towards the end of last season has been advised to retire because of a devastating hamstring injury he sustained in November 2014. Holland tore his hamstring off the bone - the same injury that ended Paul O'Connell's career.
Holland was able to come back, but the problem has been dogging him during the offseason, and was one reason why he was taken off so early in Munster's interpro loss to Leinster.
In a statement on MunsterRugby.com, Holland spoke of his disappointment:
This has obviously been a very tough time for me, and ultimately it is a decision that has been taken out of my hands. It is something that I have tried very hard to overcome but unfortunately it has become impossible for me to win this battle. As much as this is beyond my control, I don't want to look back on my career with any sadness.
Rugby has given me so many opportunities and I have learned so much from the experience, with fantastic memories and friends for life. I am very proud to have represented my home province, especially at the end of last season, and am thankful for the support from underage rugby all the way up.
I would like to take this opportunity to acknowledge the medical team, strength and conditioning staff and coaches that helped me throughout my career, and special thanks must go to my family, girlfriend Chloe and close friends for their unwavering support.
I believe this is an exciting time for Munster Rugby and while I am hugely disappointed that my time has come to an end I look forward to supporting from the stands, and to the next chapter.
Munster are left with Tyler Bleyendaal, Ian Keatley, and Bill Johnston as their options at outhalf.
Erasmus commented on Holland yesterday, and didn't sound too convincing about the future of Mark Chisholm.
Picture credit: Diarmuid Greene / SPORTSFILE