'This is the unfortunate side of professional sport': James Cronin quits Munster
Three-cap Ireland prop James Cronin will leave Munster at the end of the season, the 30-year-old believing his career is best served with a move away from the native province he has represented on 142 occasions and scored 20 tries for since making an April 2013 debut versus Leinster.
Cronin was capped three times off the bench by Schmidt and while Dave Kilcoyne has re-emerged in recent times to re-establish himself, going on to recently start two of Ireland’s last three Guinness Six Nations games, Cronin has remained heavily involved at provincial level under Johann van Graan.
Cronin told the Munster website: “It’s with great regret that I announce my time with Munster will end this summer. It’s been a dream of mine to represent my province since I threw on my first jersey as a six-year-old kid and I take great pride in knowing I have represented my province 142 times and my country on 3 occasions.
“I have made many life-long friends in my time playing here and have learnt so much from some great men, most notably the late Garrett Fitzgerald and Anthony Foley, and I thank everyone that I have worked with from my days in the sub academy to the current day.
“I want to say a special thanks to my family and friends who have always been with me for the highs, but also the lows, that come with professional rugby. To all the Munster fans also a big thank you. I’m excited about my next rugby chapter and giving everything like I have done in my career so far.”
We're coming to that stage of the season where we've to bid farewell to some great people – we'll be sad to see you go James, and wish you all the best for the future!
Thanks for everything you did in red ?#SUAF ?
— Munster Rugby (@Munsterrugby) May 18, 2021
Cronin generated unwanted headlines last year shortly after the sport went into lockdown in Ireland for a doping incident in which he supposedly was given the medicines belonging to a different James Cronin at a pharmacy. An EPCR hearing concluded that the prop should serve a one-month ban due to “an unintentional” anti-doping violation.
Munster boss van Graan added: “We are very thankful to James for everything he has done for Munster over his nine-year career with the province. It’s always difficult to lose a homegrown talent of James’ calibre, someone who has always delivered for his home club. This is the unfortunate side of professional sport and the current environment we find ourselves in as we are unable to retain the services of a player of his quality. We wish James all the best for the future.”
With rugby around the globe indefinitely suspended and fans naturally preoccupied with the pandemic more than the game, this was a bad news story that didn't generate the fuss it would have done in normal circumstances, writes @heagneylhttps://t.co/ggmTbZdmUe
— RugbyPass (@RugbyPass) April 23, 2020
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