Evan Treacy/INPHO Leinster academy hooker John McKee.

'I think he should move to Munster' - Leinster hooker McKee shines

Bernard Jackman gave his views on today’s episode of The42 Rugby Weekly Extra.

EX-IRELAND AND Leinster hooker Bernard Jackman believes Munster should make a move to sign 22-year-old hooker Leinster academy hooker John McKee.

McKee shone for Leinster in last weekend’s bonus-point win away to the Scarlets as he made his third senior start for the province.

Speaking on today’s edition of The42 Rugby Weekly Extra – a podcast available to members of The42 every Monday and Wednesday – Jackman shared his view that Munster should do their best to bring McKee to Limerick.

McKee is a native of Belfast and captained Belfast-based Campbell College to the 2018 Ulster Schools Senior Cup, playing at loosehead prop at that stage.

However, McKee linked up with the Leinster system when he moved to Dublin to study at UCD, while also joining Old Belvedere RFC. He got his senior Leinster debut last season, starting two games in South Africa, and has now featured a total of eight times.

His powerful and pacy performance in last weekend’s 35-5 win over the Scarlets highlighted his potential and Jackman could see McKee fitting in well with Munster.

Munster’s current hooker options are Ireland international Niall Scannell, in-form 24-year-old Diarmuid Barron, 22-year-old Scott Buckley, and summer signing Chris Moore.

Leinster’s senior squad includes Ireland’s Dan Sheehan and Rónan Kelleher, as well as the experienced James Tracy, who is currently injured. McKee is one of two hookers in the academy along with Lee Barron.

john-mckee-and-scott-penny-celebrate-after-the-game Ben Brady / INPHO McKee, left, salutes the Leinster fans. Ben Brady / INPHO / INPHO

“The quality of hookers in Ireland at the moment is incredible,” said ex-Grenoble and Dragons head coach Jackman on today’s episode of The42 Rugby Weekly Extra.

“I think McKee should be going to Munster. Munster need a hooker badly and I don’t think they’re going to be allowed to get a foreign player next year.

“Leinster will obviously want to keep him but I think he’s good enough to be getting more regular game time in a province and maybe good enough to be a first-choice player. He has a different profile to what Munster have at the moment.

“He’s excellent, he’s really good. He’s an Ulsterman but Ulster don’t need him at the moment, you look at the depth they have at hooker.

“I don’t think Munster would be able to get Sheehan or Kelleher, it’s going to be hard to get one of those down, but I think McKee would be someone who starts for Munster and makes them better.”

Elsewhere on The42 Rugby Weekly Extra, Jackman and Murray Kinsella discussed Ulster’s narrow win over Munster in Thomond Park, honing in on the exciting performance of Jack Crowley, the might of Ulster’s maul, and the tough refereeing calls.

The lads also discussed Connacht’s victory away to the Ospreys and how the westerners can keep getting better, as well as Leinster’s latest bonus-point win in the URC.

They finished up by discussing Conor Murray possibly starting for Ireland on the occasion of his 100th cap this weekend as Andy Farrell’s side face a massive test against the Springboks.

To get access to The42 Rugby Weekly Extra, which comes out every Monday with Gavan Casey, Bernard Jackman, and Murray Kinsella, as well as every Wednesday with Eoin Toolan, become a member of The42 at

Get instant updates on your province on The42 app. With Laya Healthcare, official health and wellbeing partner to Leinster, Munster and Connacht Rugby.

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