FORMER Worcester Warriors scrum-half Peter Stringer has announced his retirement from rugby at the age of 40 after a glittering playing career.

The Ireland legend spent six months on loan at Warriors last season, making six appearances, before leaving the club in December.

Stringer, who made his name at Munster and won 98 caps for Ireland, has now decided to hang up his boots.

"From the age of five all I ever dreamed of doing was playing rugby,” said Stringer in a statement.

“I cannot describe how it feels to have lived that dream for nearly all my life.

"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 teammates 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.

“To those supporters, you are incredible people who stood by me and cheered for me no matter who I played for and for that, I will be forever grateful.

"Lastly, thank you to Debbie my wife, for the last 10 years when I faced some difficult decisions, you were there for me and backed me every step of the way.

“Here’s to the next chapter."

Making his senior debut in 1998, Stringer turned out 230 times for Munster where he won three Celtic League titles and reached four Heineken Cup finals.

During his 15-year spell at his hometown club he also carved an illustrious international career, winning a Grand Slam and three Triple Crowns with Ireland.

After arriving in England in 2011 with Saracens on loan Stringer went on to play for Newcastle Falcons, Bath and Sale Sharks.

Stringer joined Warriors ahead of the 2017-18 campaign as injury cover but struggled to establish himself in the side and the Sixways side failed to renew his contract.