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Munster still in market for a centre with Morris set to renew Sarries contract

Damian de Allende is out of contract at the end of the season and currently expected to leave.

Damian de Allende's contract is set to expire at the end of this season.
Damian de Allende's contract is set to expire at the end of this season.
Image: Morgan Treacy/INPHO

MUNSTER REMAIN IN the market for a new centre ahead of next season with Dom Morris set to renew his contract with Saracens.

Irish-qualified Morris centre is understood to have been targeted by Munster as they look to add to their midfield options, with Damian de Allende expected to leave at the end of the current campaign.

Springboks centre de Allende is out of contract next summer and though it’s not believed he has signed for a new club yet, he has understandably attracted strong interest from teams in England, France, and Japan.

24-year-old Morris has been seen as a possible addition to the Munster midfield having impressed over the course of more than 40 appearances for Saracens but it’s believed he has now decided to extend his contract with the Premiership club.

Morris, who starts at inside centre for Saracens against Gloucester today, is Irish-qualified through one of his grandparents but played U20s rugby for his native England.

Morris now looks set to continue his career in English rugby with Saracens as Munster look elsewhere for a centre.

Munster’s current squad includes the highly consistent inside centre Rory Scannell, who is set for his 150th cap for the province today against Ulster and is contracted through to the summer of 2023.

First-choice outside centre Chris Farrell has just extended his contract with the province until 2024, while the senior squad also includes Dan Goggin, who plays at 12 or 13 and whose most recent deal is set to expire at the end of the season.

24-year-old Liam Coombes has been playing at outside centre in recent times, having previously predominantly featured as a wing, and also signed a new two-year deal recently.

Cork man Shane Daly – contracted until 2023 – has previous experience in the number 13 shirt but has been used on the wing or at fullback in recent seasons.

Munster’s academy doesn’t currently include any out-and-out centres and their search for an addition to their midfield options in the senior squad continues.

The southern province have been busy re-contracting many of their players in recent times, with the likes of Joey Carbery, Farrell, and Jean Kleyn having new deals confirmed.

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It is expected that Munster will announce further player contract renewals in the coming weeks.

The province confirmed this week that current forwards coach Graham Rowntree has extended his contract for another two years until 2024 but head coach Johann van Graan and senior coach Stephen Larkham are leaving at the end of this season, while defence coach JP Ferreira’s future remains unclear. 

It’s thought that Rowntree is in contention to be promoted to the head coach role next season, with the former England prop evasive on that subject when speaking to the media this week.

Munster have been linked with bringing former boss Declan Kidney back to the province from London Irish as a director of rugby next season – with a focus on off-the-pitch matters – while the likes of Mike Prendergast, Noel McNamara and former Georgia coach Milton Haig have also been mentioned as possible candidates for roles in the new coaching staff.

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Murray Kinsella

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