Former Munster player signs for Japanese Top League side

Colm Kinsella, Rugby Correspondent

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Colm Kinsella, Rugby Correspondent

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Former Munster player signs for Japanese Top League side

Former Munster number eight Paddy Butler has signed for Japanese Top League side Yamaha Jubilo

FORMER Munster number eight Paddy Butler has signed a two-year contract with Japanese side Yamaha Jubilo.

As reported by the Limerick Leader last November, 29-year-old Butler has been training with the Japanese Top League side Yamaha Jubilo and has featured in a number of friendly fixtures for the side.

Talented back-rower and former Shannon clubman Butler confirmed this Wednesday that he has penned a two-year deal with the Japanese side.

In a post on Instagram, Butler said: "Very honored and proud to say I will be playing my rugby with @yamaha_rugby for the next two seasons in the Japanese Top League.

"It’s something that is extremely exciting and new and as the first Irish player to play in the league it’s a massive privilege and something I can always hold."  

Butler, who departed Munster in the summer of 2015, had been playing with French Top 14 side Pau in recent seasons.

The dynamic back-row, who represented Shannon in the All-Ireland League, parted ways with Pau last summer and was training with the Munster squad in pre-season.

Butler featured in Munster's pre-season friendlies with London Irish at Musgrave Park in September and against Connacht at the Sportground in Galway a week later.

As a 20-year-old, former Rockwell College star Butler secured a development contract with Munster after impressing for the Ireland U20s in the 2010 Six Nations and at the Junior World Cup in Argentina.

He made the move to a senior contract at the start of the 2011/12 season and played a central role in Munster's victory in the British & Irish Cup.

Butler made his Heineken Cup debut in Paris coming on as replacement against Racing Metro in October 2012 and in total made seven Heineken Cup appearances in 2012/13.

He featured in the Emerging Ireland’s 2014 Nations Cup winning campaign, scoring a brace of tries against Romania.

In all Butler played 64 times for Munster, scoring seven tries.