A two-year contract extension for one-time Ireland cap Mike Haley is among the eight latest deals agreed by players at Munster. The 26-year-old Haley, who came to Limerick from Sale in 2018 after previously representing England Saxons, was capped by the Irish in August 2019 when Joe Schmidt was still at the helm.
Haley didn’t make it to the following month’s World Cup in Japan and while he has since slipped down the pecking order with Andy Farrell now in charge at Ireland where Hugo Keenan has emerged as the first-choice full-back, Munster have kept faith in their Premiership recruit.
Haley has played 53 times for Munster, debuting the Cheetahs in September 2018, and he has scored nine tries. Back row Gavin Coombes and scrum-half Neil Cronin are other members of Johann van Graan’s squad to agree to two-year extensions through to 2023.
Meanwhile, academy players Jake Flannery, James French, Sean French and Ben Healy will all advance to the senior squad ahead of the 2021/2022 season on one-year deals while John Hodnett has put pen to paper on a two-year deal.
Back row Coombes has been enjoying a breakthrough season after making the step up to the senior squad in 2019. The 23-year-old made a try-scoring Champions Cup debut against Harlequins in December. He is the province’s leading try-scorer this season with eight tries in 14 appearances and he also trained with Ireland ahead of their opening game in the 2021 Six Nations.
— RugbyPass (@RugbyPass) March 4, 2021
Healy is also enjoying a breakthrough season, helping Munster to victories over Scarlets, Edinburgh and Cardiff. He has featured a dozen times this season after making a debut during the 2019/20 campaign. Van Graan said: “Off the back of the great news about Peter O’Mahony’s IRFU contract, it’s a further boost for the province that we can add these latest names to the squad roster for next season.
“Securing the continued services of quality players such as Mike, Gavin and Neil allows us to focus on our future planning and objectives for this group. They are an exciting dynamic trio who add huge value to the squad. In terms of the younger lads, it’s always great seeing the next generation of players stepping up and reaching their potential. It is a credit to the work that is carried out in clubs and schools that helped them to get to this point.”
RugbyPass Offload EP 19 with Dan Lydiate ?
Christina, Dylan and Jamie are joined by Welsh and British & Irish Lion back-row Dan Lydiate this week!
We review all the Guinness Six Nations action, refereeing decisions & the France rugby situation.
— RugbyPass (@RugbyPass) March 3, 2021
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