Munster Rugby confirm academy intake ahead of new season

Munster Rugby confirm academy intake ahead of new season

Munster Rugby have today confirmed that three players have joined year one of the Greencore Munster Rugby Academy ahead of the 2021/22 season, while they have also confirmed that new signing Jason Jenkins has arrived in Limerick. 

The Year One recruits are scrum-half Ethan Coughlan (Shannon RFC), prop Mark Donnelly (Garryowen FC) and back-row forward Daniel Okeke (Shannon RFC).

As previously confirmed nine of the Academy group advanced to senior Munster contracts for 2021/22 – Thomas Ahern (Lock/Shannon), Jack Crowley (Out-half/Cork Constitution), Jack Daly (Back-row forward/Garryowen), Jake Flannery (Out-half/Shannon), Ben Healy (Out-half/Garryowen), John Hodnett (Back-row forward/UCC), James French (Prop/UCC), Seán French (Centre/Cork Constitution), Josh Wycherley (Prop/Young Munster).

In April it was also confirmed that Academy hooker Eoghan Clarke made the move to English Championship club Jersey Reds.

After completing his third year, Jonathan Wren extends his time in the Academy after a hamstring injury hampered his development last season, while Paddy Patterson links up with the Academy group after extending his stay with the province.

The former Leinster Academy scrum-half made the move on a short-term deal in January but his involvement was curtailed due to an ankle injury sustained in March.

Ethan Coughlan – Scrum-half

From Clare, Coughlan won the U16 Munster title in 2018 and shared the U18 Cup title honours in 2020 with his club side Ennis RFC as his progression from club and regional development squads saw him feature for Munster and Ireland at U18 Clubs level.

He captained the Ireland U18 Clubs in Italy in 2019 under Head Coach Fiach O’Loughlin before signing up with All Ireland League side Shannon RFC.

For the 2020/21 season he joined several Munster senior training sessions providing cover at 9 and featured for the Munster A side.

A member of the National Talent Squad, the 19-year-old was included in the Ireland U20s Talent Camp in May.

Mark Donnelly – Prop

Mark Donnelly won a Munster Schools Senior Cup with CBC in 2019 and has represented Ireland at U18 and U20 level.

At the beginning of the 2020/21 season, the Garryowen tighthead was involved for Munster 7s in the IRFU’s inaugural HPC Sevens Series and represented Munster A in interprovincial clashes with Ulster A and Leinster A.

Most recently the 20-year-old featured for Ireland in the 2021 U20 Six Nations and lined out against Scotland, Wales and England.

Daniel Okeke – Back-row forward

Limerick’s Daniel Okeke started out at Thomond RFC before playing his schools rugby with Ardscoil Rís, producing some standout moments in the 2019 Schools Senior Cup campaign.

Advancing through the National Talent Squad programme, Daniel lined out for Munster A in December 2020 and was included in Richie Murphy’s Ireland squad for the 2021 Six Nations Championship. The 19-year-old scored a try against Wales and made his first start against Italy.

He plays his club rugby with Shannon RFC.

Greencore Munster Rugby Academy 2021/22

Year Three: Paddy Kelly (Lock/Garryowen), Eoin O’Connor (Lock/Young Munster), Paddy Patterson (Scrum-half/UCD), Jonathan Wren (Back three/Cork Constitution).

Year Two: Scott Buckley (Hooker/UCC), Cian Hurley (Lock/Garryowen), Alex Kendellen (Back-row forward/UCC), Conor Phillips (Winger/Young Munster)

Year One: Ethan Coughlan (Scrum-half/Shannon), Mark Donnelly (Prop/Garryowen), Daniel Okeke (Back-row forward/Shannon)

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