Munster confirm Tomás O'Leary will return to the province next season

Meanwhile, the province have confirmed new contracts for Andrew Conway and Dave O’Callaghan.

O'Leary will add international experience to Munster's squad next season.
O'Leary will add international experience to Munster's squad next season.
Image: Billy Stickland/INPHO

MUNSTER HAVE CONFIRMED the heavily-rumoured signing of scrum-half Tomás O’Leary on a two-year contract from London Irish ahead of next season.

The 31-year-old will rejoin his home province after three years with the Premiership club, adding depth to Munster’s squad.

Head coach Anthony Foley is understood to have been keen to secure an additional scrum-half, with Conor Murray set to feature in the 2015 Rugby World Cup later this year.

O’Leary made 127 appearances for the southern province in his initial stint from 2005 until 2012, helping them to Heineken Cup successes in 2006 and 2008. The Cork native also earned 24 caps for Ireland, but has not played international rugby since 2012.

Duncan Williams has played back-up to Murray this season, with Cathal Sheridan having spent a large portion of the campaign out with an a forearm injury, but Foley has apparently decided his squad need a more experienced option in that department.

Meanwhile, the province have also announced new contracts for wing Andrew Conway, back row Dave O’Callaghan, out-half Johnny Holland, hooker/loosehead prop Eusebio Guiñazú and wing Darren Sweetnam.

Conway and O’Callaghan have both signed one-year contract extensions that will see them stay with the province until at least June 2016.

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Jamie George and Andrew Conway Conway has extended his contract for a year. Source: James Crombie/INPHO

Holland has put pen to paper on a new two-year contract, advancing from development to full contract status for the second year, while Sweetnam has also has signed a two-year contract, moving to development status for 2015/16 and a full contract for 2016/17.

Conway had been linked with a departure from the province, but has stayed following good form this season, while O’Callaghan’s dynamic performances since returning from long-term injury have earned him a new deal.

With JJ Hanrahan departing next season, Holland may feature more prominently for Foley’s side, while Argentina international Guiñazú has provided cover in the front row after initially joining on a short-term contract, and will now remain with the province until the end of the current season.

Former Ireland U20 international Sweetnam is highly rated by Munster’s coaching staff and will hope to be involved with the first-team next season.

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Murray Kinsella

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