MUNSTER HAVE TODAY confirmed the signing of Grenoble centre Chris Farrell, Racing 92 scrum-half James Hart along with the return of JJ Hanrahan.
Source: Ken Sutton/INPHO
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Hanrahan was one of the brightest back-line prospects to come through the ranks in Munster, but departed his native province in 2015.
However, the Kerry playmaker will return after two years with the Northampton Saints to bolster Rassie Erasmus’ out-half and centre options next season.
Hart, 25, has spent all his professional career in France since moving from Clontarf to Grenoble in 2011 before joining Ronan O’Gara in Paris last summer.
Chris Farrell before taking on Connacht last season. Source: James Crombie/INPHO
His former Grenoble team-mate Farrell, 23, a product of the Ulster academy, is a powerful outside centre. All three recruits have signed two-year contracts with the southern province.
James Hart warming up for Grenoble Source: Ryan Byrne/INPHO
The signing of two new half-backs means that there will be no space for Tomás O’Leary at Munster next season. The Grand Slam-winning number 9 joined Montpellier as a medical joker in October and the province have confirmed he will not be re-signed.
However, the province has confirmed six contract extensions today. Prop Dave Kilcoyne has committed to the province on a three-year deal, while there are new two-year contracts for Bleyendaal, Duncan Williams, Darren Sweetnam and the most recent Ireland call-ups Niall and Rory Scannell.
“I’ve always indicated our intention to recruit Irish qualified players where and when possible so to secure the young trio of Farrell, Hanrahan and Hart is great for the province and Irish rugby in general,” says Erasmus.
“In addition to being hugely talented they bring a wealth of knowledge with their combined experiences from playing abroad and this will help with our overall squad development.”
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