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Munster release seven young players from academy programme

The departing players include Shannon’s Conor Fitzgerald and former Ireland U20 fullback Jack Power.

MUNSTER HAVE CONFIRMED that they have released seven young players from their academy programme ahead of next season.

A view of Thomond Park A view of Thomond Park. Source: James Crombie/INPHO

The departing players include Shannon out-half Conor Fitzgerald, the brother of senior Munster player Stephen, and former Ireland U20 fullback Jack Power, who joined the province from Leinster’s academy.

Also leaving Munster’s academy set-up are UL Bohs prop Joey Conway, Shannon second row John Foley, Garryowen back three man Daniel Hurley, Cork Con hooker Vincent O’Brien and UCC prop Rob O’Donovan.

While Foley and O’Brien were in their second year of the academy programme, Fitzgerald, Power, Conway, Hurley and O’Donovan were only Year 1 players but their time with the province has ended.

Current Year 1 academy players Craig Casey, Liam Coombes, James McCarthy, Alex McHenry, Jack Stafford, Jack O’Sullivan and Alan Tynan will progress into their second year, Munster confirmed.

The South African pair of Keynan Knox and Matt More, who were signed straight out of school in their native land towards the end of last year, will also advance into Year 2 next season.

Young Munster back row Gavin Coombes, Cork Con and Ireland 7s centre Shane Daly and Garryowen lock Sean O’Connor will make up the third-year group in the academy for the 2018/19 campaign.

Calvin Nash, Fineen Wycherley and Liam O’Connor will all move into Munster’s senior squad, with wing Nash and lock Wycherley having completed only two seasons in the academy.

Munster have not yet confirmed their new academy intake ahead of next season.

“With the continuing cycle of players coming and going each season, Elite Player Development Manager Peter Malone is in the process of identifying the academy intake ahead of the 2018-19 season,” reads a statement on the province’s official website.

2018/19 Munster academy:

Promoted: Calvin Nash (centre/wing/Young Munster) from Year 2, Liam O’Connor (prop/Cork Con) from Year 3, Fineen Wycherley (lock/Young Munster) from Year 2.

Year 3: Gavin Coombes (back row/Young Munster), Shane Daly (centre/Cork Con), Sean O’Connor (Lock/Garryowen).

Year 2: Craig Casey (scrum-half/Shannon), Liam Coombes (back three/Garryowen), Keynon Knox (prop/UL Bohs), James McCarthy (fullback/wing/UL Bohs), Alex McHenry (centre/Cork Con), Matt More (centre/Garryowen), Jack O’Sullivan (back row/UCC), Jack Stafford (scrum-half/Shannon), Alan Tynan (out-half/Young Munster).

Year 1: TBC

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Murray Kinsella

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