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Dublin: 5 °C Tuesday 20 November, 2018

Munster recruit Leinster scrum-half Nick McCarthy for next season

Neil Cronin, Chris Farrell and Tommy O’Donnell are also among the new contracts announced by Munster today.

Image: Bryan Keane/INPHO

LEINSTER SCRUM-HALF Nick McCarthy will join the growing number of players crossing provincial borders for game-time next season.

The 23-year-old, who excelled at schoolboy grade for St Michael’s, has agreed a two-year deal with the southern province.

McCarthy made 21 appearances (three starts) during Leinster’s double-winning campaign, including replacement roles in crucial matches against Saracens, Scarlets and Munster owing to injury to Luke McGrath and the constraints of the ‘three non-European limit’ which prevented Leo Cullen from playing James Lowe, Scott Fardy and Jamison Gibson-Park in a matchday 23.

Gibson-Park will become Irish-qualified next season, so it is expected his opportunities for game-time in blue will be diminished. He will join the ranks at Munster, where James Hart, Duncan Williams and Neil Cronin currently deputise for Conor Murray.

Of that trio, Cronin has been ear-marked for retention as Munster today announced that he has signed a contract extension to keep him in the pro ranks until 2021.

Chris Farrell, who is recovering from a knee injury sustained during Six Nations training with Ireland, has agreed a new three-year deal to extend his stay until at least 2022.

Tommy O'Donnell Back row stalwart Tommy O'Donnell is among those rewarded with a new contract. Source: Bryan Keane/INPHO

Extensions have also been announced for Tommy O’Donnell, James Cronin (until June 2021) and Chris Cloete (2022).

Academy products Gavin Coombes and Shane Daly have been awarded senior contracts for to run from 2019 to 2021.

Powerful back row Coombes, 20, and versatile back Daly, 21, both made their senior debuts in the season-opener against the Cheetahs last month. Daly has also represented Ireland Sevens in recent years.

Source: Heineken Rugby Weekly on The42/SoundCloud

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Sean Farrell

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