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Munster's James Cronin set for move to England as Nagle opts for Leinster

The 25-year-old is close to agreeing a deal with a Premiership club, while Nagle is on his way to Leinster.

ANOTHER YOUNG IRELAND international is on his way to the English Premiership, with Munster loosehead James Cronin understood to be very close to signing for a club there.

James Cronin on the attack Cronin is close to agreeing a deal in England. Source: Cathal Noonan/INPHO

And in a further blow to Munster, former academy lock Ian Nagle is set to join Leinster during the summer when he returns to professional rugby after a two-year break.

It is understood that Nagle (27), who is finishing a MBA business course at Cambridge, has agreed terms with Leinster. Munster were among a number of clubs interested in signing the lock, who was man of the match for them in their 2010 win over Australia at Thomond Park.

The Buttevant native, who came up through the ranks with Munster, made 28 appearances for the province. He last featured for them in December 2013, before he moved on loan to Newcastle in the English Premiership. Injury halted his progress in the UK before he decided to make a clean break from the game altogether.

His return to professional rugby will now be with Leinster after agreeing terms with them this week.

And while Anthony Foley is keen to hold on to front-line internationals such as Keith Earls, Simon Zebo and Conor Murray, all of whom are out of contract at the end of the season, it would appear that loosehead prop Cronin is poised for a move to an unnamed English club.

Ian Nagle Source: Dan Sheridan/INPHO

A source close to the player confirmed yesterday that the deal was “75% done” and that the Ballincollig native, another product of the Munster academy and Dolphin, is set to move across the water in the summer.

The news comes hot on the heels of reports that Leinster tighthead prop Marty Moore is poised to join Wasps.

Cronin, currently recovering from an ankle injury picked up against Leinster at Christmas, has made 54 appearances for Munster.

He made his Irish debut in the second test against Argentina in the summer of 2014 and picked up his second cap off the bench against Italy in the Six Nations last season.

A knee injury halted his progress before helping Emerging Ireland win the Tblisi Cup during the summer.

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John Fallon

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