Connacht revealed that legendary flank Ray Ofisa will depart from the Irish province at the end of the season.
The 31-year-old Samoan No.7 has been an integral part of the Connacht set-up since he joined in 2007 from North Otago in New Zealand.
An aggressive, dynamic ball-carrier Ofisa is known throughout the Pro12 as one of the hardest hitting tacklers in the game and though not the biggest member of the back row at 1.84m and 95kg he regularly punches well above his weight.
A fans favourite and part of the fabric that has moulded the current Connacht team Ofisa earned his 100th cap against Treviso earlier this season.
He has been part of some of the biggest matches in the clubs history including the Heineken Cup match against Toulouse and South Africa's visit in 2007. He was unfortunate to miss Connacht's clash against his native Samoa when they arrived in the Sportsground in 2010 and he will be fondly remembered by fans as one of the most unassuming gentlemen off the field and one of the clubs greatest competitors on it.
Speaking about Ofisa's departure coach Eric Elwood said: "I'd like to pay tribute to the hard work, commitment and respect that Ofisa has shown throughout his six years here at Connacht.
"He is one of the quietest men in the squad but once he crosses the whitewash he can turn a match in a flash with a moment of brilliance. In his time here he has really bought into the ethos of everything we are about and I know Ofisa considers Connacht a family away from home.
"It's a credit to the man and his strength of character that even now he is finishing the season on a high and on behalf of myself, the management, the players and all our supporters I would like to wish Ofisa every success for the future."
In addition to Ofisa's departure another five players have not been offered contracts for the 2012/13 season: Henry Fa'afili, Dermot Murphy, Dylan Rogers, Jamie Stephens, Brian Tuohy.
Team Manager Tim Allnutt said: "Following discussions with Head Coach Eric Elwood and his coaching team it was decided that these players would not be offered contracts for next season. On behalf of all at Connacht Rugby I would like to wish them all the very best of luck in their future careers and thank them for their professionalism and commitment whilst they were at the club."
* Meanwhile Connacht captain Gavin Duffy penned a contract extension to stay at the Sportsground until at least 2014.
Fullback Duffy, who hails from Ballina in Co. Mayo, led Connacht to victory against Treviso at the start of the season and it has been an historic couple of months since then.
First up was dealing with a newly refurbished stadium and the crowds the Sportsground attracted, then there was Connacht's first ever Heineken Cup campaign, beating Harlequins, taking on the mighty Toulouse and pushing Gloucester right to the wire, twice. Agonisingly close games against the Ospreys, Cardiff, Leinster and Munster and moral boosting victories over Edinburgh, the Scarlets and a double over the Dragons means this season has had it all and 30-year-old Duffy has been leading his men through thick and thin.
With the experience of four years at Harlequins, 10 Ireland caps and over 100 appearances for Connacht to call on Gavin's leadership has been evident in the manner in which Connacht reacted to a series of close losses earlier in the season, pulling out all the stops and beating Premiership leaders Harlequins before toppling Edinburgh, drawing with play-off hopefuls Glasgow and thumping the Dragons in their own back-yard.
Committing his future to his home province Duffy said: "Staying with Connacht means a huge amount to me, as a team we have become a really tight knit group this season and that is only going to get better next season as we add even more quality to the side. Staying at the Sportsground, and the security a two year deal brings, means I can concentrate on my own game, getting the best out of the people around me and driving Connacht forward.
"Staying in Ireland also means that I'm still available for national selection and winning more Irish caps is always a goal of mine."
"Brining up a young family in Galway is great and my wife and five month old daughter are very happy here so I'm delighted to be able to commit to Connacht for the next two seasons."
Speaking about the signing Elwood said: "I'm delighted that Gavin is here to stay. We all know he's very proud of where he comes from and it was a great honour for him to lead his team this year in our first ever Heineken Cup. We've enjoyed the highs and lows of this season and we're looking to finish on an up and getting news like this is great for the squad going forward into next year."
Gilbert has released a new line of rugby cleats. The Gilbert Virtuo 8S is part of the exciting new product. Check it out.
The entire All Blacks apparel line has been updated for 2013/14. Check out the New Zealand All Blacks polo.
The Nike Tiempo is a solid rugby cleat and one of few styles still made from full-grain natural leather.
The Gilbert Blitz 8S rugby cleat is a great cleat at a great price of $69.99. Get a new pair of cleats today.
A cool looking all black rugby cleat with the high performance adidas is known for. Get in the Gear!
Wear the crest of the British and Irish Lions on your t-shirt. A great look for the summer.
The All Blacks Performance t-shirt is black with hints of blue from the training jersey. Very Cool.
The New Zealand All Blacks training jersey for 2013/14. Get in the Gear!
The USA Rugby Pro Alternate rugby jersey is perfect for any fan of the Eagles. Get yours to wear during the summer Test matches.
The NEW All Blacks 2013/14 jersey has arrived at World Rugby Shop. Dare to wear the colors of the All Blacks.