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'His contract is very well-deserved and it’s good for Munster too'

Tadhg Beirne will play on with Munster and Ireland until 2025 at least.

Beirne is a key man for Munster.
Beirne is a key man for Munster.
Image: Billy Stickland/INPHO

MUNSTER HAVE WELCOMED news of Tadhg Beirne’s new three-year central IRFU contract with excitement.

Beirne will be staying with Munster until at least July 2025 as a result of the fresh deal, a huge boost for the southern province.

Senior coach Stephen Larkham won’t be around beyond the end of the current season to work with Beirne but he has been deeply impressed by the Ireland international’s influence from the second row and at blindside flanker.

“First and foremost, he is a rugby player so he understands the game exceptionally well,” said Larkham this afternoon. “He’s got really good skills.

“He shows tremendous leadership, he’s got a thirst for improvement both as a team and individually. He has been a pleasure to work with, you don’t get many guys like that who are at the top of their game and hungry to get better.”

Beirne turned 30 last month but a three-year deal is recognition of his current world-class ability and also the fact that he doesn’t have massive mileage on the clock. 

The Kildare man’s Test debut only came in 2018 after he had impressed for Welsh region Scarlets following his release from Leinster.

Larkham believes the best is still ahead of Beirne.

“I think so, he has been playing exceptionally well for us and, like I said, he offers a lot of leadership around the place so that’s only going to improve from now.”

Meanwhile, Beirne’s Munster team-mate, Simon Zebo, expressed his happiness about the news.

Zebo returned to Munster last summer after three seasons with Racing 92 in France and has thoroughly enjoyed getting to play and train with Beirne.

“He’s exactly what I expected,” said Zebo. “I’ve probably been even more impressed now having been around him so much now in the last few months. He’s an incredible athlete, incredible over the ball. His attacking, his lines of running, everything.

“He ticks every box for a second row and back row. I suppose the most impressive thing about him would be his skills – his offloading and passing ability. He’s a real smart rugby player.

“You saw at the weekend he puts in a 50:22 kick [for Ireland against France]. He’s got the full package and his contract is very well-deserved, and it’s good for Munster too so happy days.”

While Beirne will be in camp with Ireland again this week as they turn their attention towards the Six Nations clash with Italy in two weekends’ time, Munster have a big United Rugby Championship clash to come against Edinburgh in Thomond Park on Friday night.

Larkham and co. are aiming to bounce back from last weekend’s 13-11 defeat away to Glasgow.

“We were a little bit off everywhere,” said Larkham of that loss. “We made 10 changes. We had our game against Zebre, a week off, we had a short turnaround because we wanted to give the guys a decent week because we have a very long run ahead, so we’d made 10 changes.

“There were a lot of combinations not quite there. It wasn’t one area, you literally look at every aspect of the game and we could have been better at it. We’ve had a unit session this morning and a team session this afternoon, so we’re just trying to find our combinations again.”

Ireland legend Rob Kearney joined host Seán Burke, Murray Kinsella and Eimear Considine for the first episode of The Front Row, in partnership with Guinness. Rob ​​speaks about his most euphoric moment in a green jersey, life after retirement, a “brutal” return to the GAA pitch, and his skincare routine. Click here to subscribe or listen below:

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Murray Kinsella

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