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Dublin: 17 °C Sunday 18 August, 2019
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All the rugby transfers of the 4 Irish provinces this summer

Leinster and Connacht have been the most active of the four sides ahead of the new season.

Keith Earls and Andrew Conway will be taming up at Munster next season.
Keith Earls and Andrew Conway will be taming up at Munster next season.
Image: ©INPHO/Dan Sheridan

THE NEW RUGBY SEASON is six weeks away and many of the British and Irish Lions do not return until the second week in August.

While Montpellier [René Ranger, Jim Hamilton], Northampton Saints [Alex Corbisiero, George North], and Racing Metro [Jonny Sexton, Dan Lydiate and Jamie Roberts] have been among the busiest of Europe’s Heineken Cup sides, the Irish provinces have been relatively quiet.

Munster, despite losing Ronan O’Gara, Marcus Horan and Doug Howlett, have opted to promote five academy players and astutely sign Leinster Andrew Conway. Ulster are expected to announce some academy promotions but have been sedate this summer. Signings of note at Ravenhill include James McKinney and the fearsome-sounding prop Bronson Ross.

Connacht have signed Craig Ronaldson, one of the Ulster Bank League’s best performers, have taken Fionn Carr back from Leinster. Pat Lam has also summoned three promising players from New Zealand. Their best signing of last season was securing Robbie Henshaw to a senior squad contract.

Leinster have made nine academy promotions, including Jordi Murphy and Jack McGrath, while new coach Matt O’Connor will hope that Zane Kirchner can deliver 70-80% of the impact that Isa Nacewa did in his five seasons at the province.

Here are the full Ins and Outs of the four provinces so far.

Connacht

IN: Aly Muldowney (Exeter Chiefs), Craig Clarke (Waikato Chiefs), James So’oialo (Wellington Norths), Fionn Carr (Leinster Rugby), Craig Ronaldson (Lansdowne), Sean Henry (Munster Rugby), Jake Heenan (Auckland Blues Development Squad), James Rael (Munster Rugby)
Dave Heffernan, Danny Qualter, Robbie Henshaw, Kieran Marmion, Aaron Conneely (all academy)

OUT: Mike McCarthy (Leinster Rugby), Johnny O’Connor (retired), TJ Anderson (Ealing Trailfinders), Dave Gannon (released), Eoghan Grace (Plymouth Albion), Matthew Jarvis (Nottingham), James Loxton (released), Mark McCrea (Jersey), Dave Moore (released), Ethienne Reynecke (released), Fetu’u Vainikolo (Exeter Chiefs), Adrian Flavin (retired)

New Leinster signing Mike McCarthy watches them defeat Ulster in the Pro12 Final. (©INPHO/Dan Sheridan)

Leinster

IN: Jimmy Gopperth (Newcastle Falcons), Mike McCarthy (Connacht Rugby), Zane Kirchner (Blue Bulls), John Cooney, Brendan Macken, Ben Marshall, Jack McGrath, Jordi Murphy, Darren Hudson, Martin Moore, Jack O’Connell, Noel Reid (all academy).

OUT: Jonny Sexton (Racing Metro 92), Isa Nacewa (retired), Heinke van der Merwe (Stade Francais Paris). Andrew Conway (Munster Rugby)
Fionn Carr (Connacht Rugby), Damien Browne (Oyonnax), Jamie Hagan (London Irish), Mark Flanagan (released), Tom Sexton (Melbourne Rebels)

Munster

IN: Andrew Conway (Leinster Rugby), Cian Bohane, Duncan Casey, James Cronin, Ronan O’Mahony, Niall Scannell (all academy)

OUT: Ronan O’Gara (retired), Doug Howlett (retired), Marcus Horan (retired), Peter Stringer (Bath Rugby), Wian du Preez (released), Danny Barnes (Newcastle Falcons), Sean Henry (Connacht Rugby), Scott Deasy (released), Christy Condon (released), Sean Scanlon (Rotherham Titans)

James McKinney returns to Ulster after a spell abroad with Rotherham. (©INPHO/Ryan Byrne)

Ulster

IN: James McKinney (Rotherham Titans), David McIlwaine (Bristol), Bronson Ross (Coventry)

OUT: Niall O’Connor (Jersey), Nigel Brady (Aurillac), Ali Birch (Rotherham Titans), Adam D’Arcy, Blane McIlroy.

– You can see a full list of transfers by Heineken Cup clubs here >>

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Patrick McCarry

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