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Munster in for English full-back?

By Alex Shaw
Munster have returned to training after an academy player tested positive for Covid-19.

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With northern hemisphere rugby in the midst of contract season, deals are seemingly being announced on a daily basis.


One player who could be on the move is Sale Sharks’ full-back Mike Haley.

RugbyPass understands that the 23-year-old is keen to leave the Aviva Premiership club and was recently in Ireland to discuss a potential move to Munster, although we also understand that his preferred move at this point would be to join Exeter Chiefs.

The issue with a move to Exeter is that Haley still has another season to run on the three-year contract he signed back in 2016 and if he were to leave for another Premiership club, Sale would demand significant compensation.

One stumbling block over a move to Munster, however, is that Haley is no longer Irish-qualified, having played for the England Saxons in 2016 on their tour of South Africa.

If he were to move to Munster, one way he could get around this, and therefore make himself a more valuable proposition to the Irish Rugby Football Union, would be to use the loophole that allows for players to switch allegiances by playing in an Olympic 7s event.

Haley was eligible to play for Ireland through ancestry prior to representing the Saxons.


The Olympic event would need to occur at least three years – 2019 – after the player’s last appearance for his former union and it appears the calendars would align nicely for Haley if he does make the move, with the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo just around the corner.

If he does head across the Irish Sea, Haley will join former Sale teammate Ciaran Parker at Munster, as well as potentially eventually competing for a spot in the Ireland team with another ex-teammate, James Mitchell at Connacht.


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PRO 14    

Munster in for English full-back?