Munster bid farewell to six players

Munster bid farewell to six players

MUNSTER have confirmed today that six players in all will depart the squad this summer.

Denis Hurley, BJ Botha, Cathal Sheridan, Gerhard van den Heever, Shane Buckley and Jordan Coghlan are departing Munster this season.

A product of the Munster Rugby Academy, Denis Hurley made his first competitive start for Munster against Llanelli Scarlets in Stradey Park in May 2006.

 In total, the 2008 Heineken Cup winner has amassed 166 caps - making him the most capped player of the current squad - and scored 16 tries.

In a post on Instagram, former St Munchin’s College player Hurley wrote: “Happy to have played out my dreams here (Thomond Park) but now a new challenge awaits and we’re excited about what may lie ahead.

“Thanks for all the support over the years.”

Hurley's wealth of experience also saw him captain Munster on seven occasions. Ankle and calf injuries curtailed his competitive involvement for much of the 2015/16 season.

Injury would also limit the appearances of 2007 World Cup winning prop BJ Botha this season. The 36-year-old tighthead, who joined Munster from Ulster in 2011, won a grand total of 111 Munster caps, scoring four tries.

His final appearance in red came against Stade Francais in Paris last January when he ruptured his ACL, keeping Botha sidelined for the remainder of the season.

Botha has been linked with a move to English Premiership side Exeter Chiefs.

Another product of the Munster Rugby Academy, Cathal Sheridan made his senior debut against Edinburgh at Musgrave Park in February 2013 and went on to make 35 appearances for the province.

The Ul-Bohemian clubman also made 17 appearances with Munster A, featuring the British and Irish Cup winning campaign of 2011/12.

Scoring 6 tries in 29 appearances for Munster, Gerhard van den Heever joined the province in November 2013. 

A former Academy Player of the Year, Shane Buckley spent two seasons in the senior squad where he made eight Pro12 appearances, the first of which came as a starter against Edinburgh at Thomond Park in September 2014. Across five seasons with Munster A, the back row made 24 British and Irish Cup appearances.

As confirmed in recent weeks, Jordan Coghlan will also leave the province this summer. The Garryowen back row, who made eight Pro12 appearances for Munster, will move to Nottingham Rugby for the 2016/17 season.