MUNSTER Rugby and the IRFU have confirmed that Denis Hurley has signed a contract extension with the province.
It has also been confirmed this week that back-row forwards Paddy Butler and Sean Dougall will depart the province at the end of the current season. Both players did not seek to renew their contracts which expire at the end of the current season, and it was confirmed earlier today that Sean Dougall is moving to French Pro D2 side Pau Rugby.
Currently in his ninth season with Munster Rugby, 30-year-old Denis Hurley has signed a one-year contract extension that will see him remain with the province until June 2016.
A product of the Munster academy, the former St Munchin’s College student has made 144 appearances, scoring 12 tries, his most recent against Saracens at Allianz Park. This season he is a regular at first centre but for previous years he has featured on the wing or at full-back.
Head Coach Anthony Foley said: “In re-signing Denis we are maintaining the services of a talented and experienced individual. Denis has always shown his leadership qualities and versatility, providing us with a number of options across the backline.”
Foley admitted it was disappointing to see both Sean Dougall and Paddy Butler opt to leave the province.
Foley added, “It is always disappointing to see guys leave. In professional sport you have to be ambitious, and players are eager to secure game time, but with the backrow being such a competitive area within our squad it is an ongoing challenge to satisfy all parties. We wish both players the very best of luck for the future but before then they have a job to do here. Knowing Paddy and Sean they will want to achieve success with this squad and give it their all for the remainder of the season.”
Paddy Butler, a Rockwell college graduate and Shannon RFC clubman, joined the squad at the start of the 2010/11 season, making his first league appearance against Connacht that December. The Tipperary backrow went on to make his European debut coming off the bench against Racing Metro at Stade de France in October 2012. The 24-year-old has made 57 appearances for the province and scored 6 tries.
Fellow backrow forward Sean Dougall joined the province from Rotherham Titans at the start of the 2012/13 season. The 25-year-old has 37 Munster caps and scored 6 tries. Like Butler, Dougall played in Emerging Ireland’s 2014 Nations Cup winning campaign.