MUNSTER RUGBY CONFIRMED this week that Peter Stringer would not be returning to the province next season.
Stringer, who signed by Bath two months ago as injury cover for Michael Claassens, has established himself as first-choice scrum-half. He has signed with the Premiership club for the 2013/14 season.
The 35-year-old said, “I still feel like I have a lot to give on the rugby field, and really wanted to keep on playing, so was happy to agree a new contract here.”
After 232 games for Munster, and 98 Ireland caps, it seems Irish fans have seen the last of Stringer in full-flight, barring a Challenge Cup visit next season.
We’ll always have the memories of a true, Irish rugby legend. Here are some of ‘Strings’ finest moments:
Spinning behind a mighty pack
Stringer made his Munster debut in 1998 as the Reds beat Ulster 31-9 at Musgrave Park. He served his apprenticeship during that first season behind a pack that included Peter Clohessy, John Hayes, Mick O’Driscoll, Alan Quinlan, Anthony Foley and, in 1999/2000, Keith Wood.
Alan Quinlan, Mike Mullins and Stringer celebrate Munster’s win over Colomiers in ’99. (©INPHO/Lorraine O’Sullivan)
5′ 7″ of pure Munster muscle…
…although sometimes bulking up became a necessity.
Is that a smirk on James Coughlan’s face. (©INPHO/Donall Farmer)
Box-seat for ‘The Hand of Back’
Stringer was placing the ball in a Munster scrum, in front of the posts, with Leicester Tigers leading 15-9 in the closing stages of the Heineken Cup Final. He was grossly offended when Neil Back swiped the ball onto the Tigers side, which ultimately led to the English team’s victory.
YouTube credit: Snedds
Gallimh always had his back
Stringer and Ronan O’Gara made their Ireland debuts in 2000 and Mike Galwey, as he did that day, played the father figure role to perfection for their first three years on the international scene. The scrum-half would go on to play at World Cups in 2003 and 2007.
‘They’re with me’: Galwey with Stringer and O’Gara. (©INPHO/Patrick Bolger)
Dan Luger, Jason Robinson, Glen Metcalfe, Paul Sackey, Rocky Elsom. All five men, and many, many more, have been victims of Stringer’s infamous ankle tap tackles.
A try to savour against Biarritz
Heineken Cup glory would eventually arrive [twice] but Stringer got the party started with this superb score against Biarritz at the Millennium Stadium:
YouTube credit: TheWyndmoor
He won a Grand Slam
Has the t-shirt and read the book. Stringer played three games of Ireland’s successful Six Nations campaign in 2009.
Having a good aul’ read with Donncha O’Callaghan in Easons, Cork. (©INPHO/Neil Danton)
Australia scored a late try at the end of a dominant first-half against the Baa Baa’s. James O’Connor lined up a kick to make it 20-3 but Stringer had other ideas:
YouTube credit: nzallblacksrugby8man
His final game in red
Cap number 232 came as he replaced Conor Murray on 68 minutes in a 24-10 win over Ulster that ended their inter-pro rivals’ unbeaten Pro12 run.
Stringer and Murray: Next, slightly taller generation. (©INPHO/Billy Stickland)
What are your favourite Peter Stringer rugby memories?