Munster have announced the exit of four more players from the province – Sean O’Connor, Darren O’Shea and Ciaran Parker have all been released, while Brian Scott has been forced to retire. The departures bring to eight the number of players exiting following the suspended 2019/20 campaign. Sammy Arnold and Conor Oliver are joining Connacht, Arno Botha is heading back to the Bulls while Tyler Bleyendaal has retired through injury.  

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O’Connor and Parker, the former England age-grade international who joined Munster in 2017, will both be in action elsewhere next season after securing contracts in the English Championship. There is no update on O’Shea’s status, while it’s the end of the road for Scott, who was advised to retire on medical grounds due to a foot ligament injury sustained while on All-Ireland League duty for Cork Constitution in December 2018.

The 27-year-old is expected to take up a coaching role with one of the province’s AIL clubs next season. “I’m devastated to be finishing my career prematurely. The last 15 months have been incredibly testing and I did not come out on the right side of it. I have great confidence in knowing the medical team and I have tried and given everything to this and done everything possible to regain full fitness.

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“I have huge gratitude for the physios and the doctors for everything they did for me. I look back at my journey through rugby with great happiness. From my club games, school games in PBC and coming up through the Munster system. It was a childhood dream of mine to play for Munster and I’m incredibly proud to say I got to do so. 

“I grew up attending Munster matches with my grandad and the club and its fans will always have a special place in my heart. I’m first and foremost a Munster man… my time with Munster has meant everything to me.”

Academy graduate O’Connor, who can play in the second row and back row, made nine Munster appearances since earning his debut against the Maori All Blacks in 2016. Lock Darren O’Shea scored two tries in 44 Munster appearances after rejoining from Worcester Warriors. Meanwhile, tighthead Parker made 13 appearances for since joining from Sale Sharks in 2017.

Munster boss Johann van Graan told the club website: “I would like to take this opportunity to thank Ciaran, Darren and Sean for their time with the province. We wish them all the best with their future rugby careers and wish them continued success.

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“I want to wish Brian all the best for the future and thank him for everything he has done for Munster. It’s a difficult time for any player to have to finish early through injury, but Brian should be very proud of everything he has achieved in representing the province.”

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