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James Coughlan secures early release from Munster contract

The 33-year-old No. 8 will leave the province this summer, with Pau in France his presumed destination.

Coughlan secured his first professional contract through superb form for Dolphin RFC.
Coughlan secured his first professional contract through superb form for Dolphin RFC.

JAMES COUGHLAN WILL leave Munster this summer, having secured an early release from a contract that was scheduled to run until June 2015.

While the province have not confirmed the No. 8′s next club, he has been linked with French Pro D2 side Pau, where current Munster backs coach Simon Mannix takes over as Sporting Director next month.

Coughlan joined Munster at the age of 26 on the back of superb form for Dolphin RFC in the All-Ireland League. The late bloomer more than made up for lost time in recent seasons, racking up 139 appearances for the southern province and scoring 13 tries.

The Cork man was named Munster’s Player of the Year at the end of the 2010/11 season, but has never been capped by Ireland. The 33-year-old was involved with the international squad on occasions, and played 7s for Ireland, but failed to see his consistent provincial form recognised at the highest level.

Robin Copeland’s arrival at Munster ahead of next season meant Coughlan would have faced stiff competition for the eight shirt, with Paddy Butler also adding to depth in that area of the back row.

Living the dream

“This was a difficult decision for me to make,” said Coughlan. “I was presented with an opportunity that I had to take for myself and my young family as we plan for our future.

“Playing for Munster has been a dream come true. I never thought I would have achieved what I have and the whole experience has been life-changing.

I am so thankful for my career and the incredible support I have received along the way. It is with the heaviest of hearts that I am leaving but an amazing challenge awaits me and my family.

“My wife Katri and children Finn, Aoibhinn and Elsie have been an incredible support and we are really looking forward to the next chapter of our lives. I want to wish the Munster squad, staff and supporters all the success for the future, and my family and I will always be cheering you on!”

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About the author:

Murray Kinsella

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