Munster confirm nine contracts as JJ Hanrahan set for return

Colm Kinsella, Rugby Correspondent


Colm Kinsella, Rugby Correspondent

Munster confirm nine contracts as JJ Hanrahan set for return

MUNSTER Rugby and the IRFU today confirmed that JJ Hanrahan, Chris Farrell and James Hart are to join the province next season.

In addition, Dave Kilcoyne, Niall Scannell, Rory Scannell, Tyler Bleyendaal, Duncan Williams and Darren Sweetnam have all signed contract extensions with the province.

The incoming Irish trio of Farrell,  Hanrahan and  Hart have signed two-year contracts with the province.  Farrell and Harte will make the move from their respective Top 14 sides, Grenoble and Racing 92, while Hanrahan will return after two seasons with Premiership outfit Northampton Saints.

Hanrahan returns to the province after two seasons with Northampton Saints.  The 24-year-old has played on 30 occasions for the English club, lining out in the centre and at out-half.

Twenty three-year-old Farrell is in his third season with Grenoble where he has made 70 appearances, scoring 10 tries.  A former Ireland U20s player, the Belfast-born centre first played his professional rugby with Ulster.

Currently with Racing 92, scrumhalf Hart has made 12 appearances this season, his most recent as a replacement in Saturday’s Champions Cup encounter at Thomond Park.  Before joining the Parisian club the 25-year-old played his rugby with Farrell at Grenoble, making 60 appearances.

There was further positive news with contract extensions for out-half Tyler Bleyendaal and for the home-grown talents of prop Dave Kilcoyne, the Scannell brothers, hooker Niall and centre Rory, scrumhalf Duncan Williams and winger Darren Sweetnam. 

Kilcoyne will remain with the province until June 2020, while the others have signed extensions that will see them remain with the province until at least June 2019.

Meanwhile, it has been confirmed that Tomás O’Leary, who joined Top 14 side Montpellier on a short-term loan in October, will not be returning to the province.  The 33-year-old scrumhalf made 145 appearances in the red jersey scoring 10 tries.