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New Zealand stay will be brief for Ryan as Munster agree new deal

By Liam Heagney
(Photo by Seb Daly/Sportsfile via Getty Images)

The plan to play Super Rugby Pacific by ex-Ireland prop John Ryan will be short-lived as he has decided he will come home to Munster at the end of his upcoming one-campaign deal to play for the Hamilton-based Chiefs. It was December when the 34-year-old tighthead was announced as a surprise addition to the 2023 Super Rugby roster.


Having been made redundant by Wasps in October when the Gallagher Premiership club collapsed, Ryan quickly signed a three-month deal to return to Munster just days after inking a deal to be the only player play for the Barbarians on all four of their November tour matches in England.

At the time Ryan was hoping that his short-term deal at Munster would be extended to take him through to the end of the 2022/23 season, but he instead took up an offer from the Chiefs to represent them in the Super Rugby campaign that will start away to the Crusaders on February 24.

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That 15-round regular season lasts until the start of June, with the knockout rounds following that same month. Rather than remain in New Zealand after that stint, Ryan will head back to Ireland to rejoin Munster after he struck a fresh deal with them on Tuesday along with the Scannell brothers and the apprentice Edwin Edogbo.

A statement read: “Munster Rugby and the IRFU are pleased to confirm contract extensions for Niall Scannell and Rory Scannell with Edwin Edogbo signing his first senior contract and John Ryan returning to Munster next season.

“Niall and Rory have both signed two-year contract extensions with Edwin set to continue as an academy player next season before moving up to the senior squad ahead of the 2024/25 campaign on a two-year contract. John will return to Munster for the 2023/24 season. The tighthead prop has joined the Chiefs in New Zealand for the upcoming Super Rugby Pacific season and will return to Munster on a one-year contract.

“Ryan is one of only 13 players to have made over 200 appearances for Munster with the tighthead prop playing 205 games for the province to date. The 34-year-old made his 50th Champions Cup appearance for the province in December and has also earned 24 Ireland caps, featuring at the 2019 Rugby World Cup.”


Speaking to RugbyPass in early November prior to the Barbarians beating an All Blacks XV in London, Ryan said about his contract situation: “Where my headspace is at the moment, I would love to see out the season with Munster. I would 100 per cent like to stay in Munster.

“They are not going so well at the moment but you can see there is so much change and I believe something (good) will happen there. That would be exciting to be a part of but something in France or England would also be appealing. I’d be willing to move again, to see what is out there. I’m ruling nothing out and have a very open mind for 2023/24 season.”


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