Published Tuesday, 03 June 2014
Stephen ferris has announced his retirement from rugby. (© Pacemaker)
The 28-year-old has been capped 35 times for Ireland and 106 times for Ulster.
"It is every young rugby player's dream to represent their Province and their country and I have been enormously privileged to have done both," Ferris said.
"I have shared a pitch with so many talented players over the past nine years and I want to thank my team-mates at Ulster and Ireland for the support that they have given me."
I have had a great career, met many wonderful people, and I hang up the boots with no regrets.
After suffering an ankle injury in November 2012, Ferris was forced to spend 16 months on the sidelines before making his return for Ulster.
As well as thanking his family for their support over the years, he also paid tribute to those behind the scenes at Ireland and Ulster.
"I also want to thank the IRFU as well as the strength and conditioning coaches and medical team at Ulster Rugby, for all their hard work, patience and backing over the past year-and-a-half," Ferris said.
Among his career highlights are representing Ireland at the 2011 Rugby World Cup in New Zealand and playing in all five games of Ireland's 2009 Grand Slam success.
Also in 2009, he was selected for the British and Irish Lions Tour of South Africa and scored two tries before injury prevented him from claiming a Test place.
We knew from the day and hour that he walked into the Academy that he was an exceptional talent.
David Humphreys, Ulster Rugby
Ulster's Director of Rugby, David Humphreys, has thanked Ferris for his outstanding contribution.
"Through dedication and hard work. he developed into one of the best forwards in the world game," he said.
"He has always played an important leadership role within the squad and he helped mentor and inspire others.
"While we are sorry to be losing Stephen, we recognise and celebrate the exceptional rugby career that he has had and wish him every success in the future."
© UTV News