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Munster's Kiwi Tyler has to retire

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The New Zealander has been plagued by neck problems since before he arrived in Ireland in 2015. Pic: Sportsfile

The New Zealander has been plagued by neck problems since before he arrived in Ireland in 2015. Pic: Sportsfile

The New Zealander has been plagued by neck problems since before he arrived in Ireland in 2015. Pic: Sportsfile

Munster out-half Tyler Bleyendaal has been forced to retire from rugby.

The New Zealander (below) has been plagued by neck problems since before he arrived in Ireland in 2015.

The former Crusader was tipped to play for Ireland when Munster confirmed they'd secured his services, but his arrival was delayed when he required surgery on the injury.

He belatedly made his debut in September 2015 and played 62 times for the province, winning the team's player of the year award in 2016/17 and skippering the side 11 times.

However, while he had impressive stints in the red jersey his body always seemed to be holding him back from unleashing his true potential.

His last match came against the Ospreys in November.

"It has been very tough to be honest, to admit the fact that I'm retiring from rugby," he said. "But the decision is out of my hands now, it's a medical decision, and it's the right decision. It doesn't make it any easier because rugby is a massive part of my life, but I do know that I gave it absolutely everything.

t at the same time there's a lot to look forward to, it might just require a bit of patience until we find out what that is, and when it can happen.

"I want to thank the Munster supporters, they have been absolutely fantastic, and they are a massive reason why myself, and the whole team, love playing in front of our home crowd and our away supporters as well."

Bleyendaal is known as a smart thinker on the game and, while he couldn't always contribute on the pitch, head coach Johann van Graan often used him as a runner during games.

He coached Garryowen in the All Ireland League last season and the Munster coach believes he has what it takes to make it in that field.

"It was a pleasure to coach him, and I believe he has a very bright future ahead, and will do very well if he moves into coaching," said Van Graan.