Confirmed: Munster out-half to join Clermont Auvergne
Munster have this morning confirmed that JJ Hanrahan will leave the province at the end of the season and move to the Top14. Hanrahan has agreed a one-year contract – with the option of a second year – with Clermont Auvergne, a move widely reported in the French media last week, after Munster decided against offering the 28-year-old a new contract.
Hanrahan has made 140 appearances across two spells with the club, leaving for Northampton Saints in 2015 before returning to Limerick in 2017.
He had remained a central part of the team under head coach Johann van Graan but the recent return of Joey Carbery from a long-term injury has pushed Hanrahan back down the queue at out-half. Munster also have a wealth of young out-half talent coming though in the form of Ben Healy, Jack Crowley and Jake Flannery, leaving Hanrahan surplus to requirements.
“It was difficult to hear the news regarding my future with Munster Rugby, however, it has been a dream come true and a privilege to represent my home province and wear the jersey for eight years,” Hanrahan said.
“I have lifelong friends from this club, and I am very proud to represent the people of Munster and in particular the people of Kerry.
“Equally, I believe I am going to a club with very similar traditions and values in Clermont and it’s an opportunity I am extremely excited for. Currently my main focus is to give everything I have to the Munster jersey during my time left here in Ireland.”
Hanrahan will have caught the eye of Clermont when he played a key role in Munster’s remarkable comeback win at the Stade Marcel Michelin earlier this season, scoring 24 points in a stunning 39-31 win.
Van Graan said, “JJ is a fantastic player and has been a great servant to Munster Rugby.
“We’ve said from the beginning we want to retain all of our players but unfortunately the harsh realities of what’s happened over the past year have come to a head.
“Due to the challenges stemming from the Covid landscape we are not in a position to hold onto a player of JJ’s calibre, and we are sorry to see him go.
“While he has a fantastic opportunity ahead of him we still have a job to do here and we look forward to JJ successfully seeing out his time in the red jersey.”
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