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JJ Hanrahan to leave Munster for Northampton

jjMunster Rugby confirmed today that JJ Hanrahan will leave the province at the end of the current season to join Aviva Premiership side Northampton Saints.

The uncertainty about Hanrahan’s future has been well documented over the past few weeks and the player himself confirmed his departure to team management yesterday despite being offered a three-year Munster deal.

The Kerry-man has made 51 appearances for the province, scoring 229 points, and at 22 years of age has been a rising star since first making his league debut against Newport Gwent Dragons in September 2012 in Thomond Park.

A former Castleisland RFC, Rockwell College and UL Bohemians man he moved to the senior squad at the start of the 2012/13 season after completing two years of the academy programme.  In June 2012 he played an impressive role at out-half for the Ireland Under 20 side that finished fifth in the Junior World Championship in South Africa and was one of three players nominated for the IRB Junior Player of the Year.

He made his European debut against Edinburgh in October 2012 in Thomond Park, and five days later scored two tries when making his first league start against Zebre in a man of the match performance.

The youngest member of the squad he was awarded the Munster Rugby Young Player of the Year award for 2013/2014, and also won the Golden Boot at the 2014 PRO12 awards.  In June he represented Emerging Ireland in the IRB Nations Cup in Romania.

Commenting on his departure JJ Hanrahan said, “I have thought long and hard about this decision, and as difficult as it is to leave I believe it is the right step to take for my future progression.  Growing up, Munster was all I knew and I will certainly miss it.   I am very fortunate to have represented this club and team but I need to do what is best for me and avail of the next opportunity.

I have thoroughly enjoyed my time here and want to thank everyone for their support and best wishes all along.  I will continue to represent the jersey to the best of my ability for the remainder of the season.”

Munster Rugby CEO Garrett Fitzgerald said, “In confirming the positive news about player contracts earlier today we are extremely disappointed to announce that we will lose the services of a home-grown talent such as JJ.  We understand his reasons for leaving at the end of the season and appreciate the opportunity available to him.

“We have done everything possible in looking to retain such a skilful player and offered a highly competitive package in the process but unfortunately the decision is out of our hands.  We would like to wish JJ all the best, he is a talented player with a very bright future ahead of him.”

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About Stephen Davis

Stephen is a native of County Wexford. Email him at sdavis@iweatheronline.com

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