Munster and former New Zealand wing Doug Howlett retires

Munster captain Doug Howlett has retired from the game on medical advice after suffering a shoulder injury against Glasgow Warriors in March.

The former New Zealand wing and full-back, 34, had surgery on the injury but has now been advised to retire.

Howlett, who joined Munster in 2008, is the team's second leading try scorer with 35 tries.

Meanwhile, Wian du Preez is returning to his native South Africa while BJ Botha has signed a new two-year deal.

Sean Scanlon is joining Rotherham Titans and Sean Henry has signed for Connacht, while Scott Deasy and Christy Condon have also left the Irish side.

Danny Barnes has not been re-contracted but it is understood he has negotiated an opportunity to play abroad.

Howlett sustained the shoulder injury in the course of scoring Munster's third try in the Pro12 defeat at Scotstoun.

He was nominated squad captain at the start of this season and became just the second overseas player and the first back to achieve that honour.

Howlett, who scored 49 tries in 62 games with the All Blacks, has intimated that he will remain in Cork, where he lives with his wife and three children, for the immediate future.