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Northampton confirm capture of JJ Hanrahan from Munster

The 22-year-old will move to the Premiership club next season.

Hanrahan started at inside centre for Munster away to Clermont.
Hanrahan started at inside centre for Munster away to Clermont.
Image: Inpho/Billy Stickland

NORTHAMPTON SAINTS HAVE confirmed the capture of JJ Hanrahan from Munster ahead of next season.

The 22-year-old Kerry native is understood to have become frustrated by the lack of first-team opportunities at his home province over the course of the current campaign.

Munster made a three-year contract offer to keep the highly-rated Hanrahan at the province, but the lure of the ambitious Saints swayed the out-half/centre. Hanrahan confirmed his decision to Munster management yesterday.

“I’m excited by the challenge that awaits me at Northampton Saints and I hope that I can help continue the Club’s recent successes in England and to challenge for European honours,” said Hanrahan.

I was hugely impressed by the setup at Franklin’s Gardens. Like Munster, Northampton is a club that has a proud history, great structures and a passionate local supporter base. I am really looking forward to testing myself in a new environment.”

The loss of Hanrahan will come as a major disappointment to Munster fans, as well as the coaching staff at the province. While Ian Keatley’s status as first-choice out-half has been underlined with a new two-year contract, Hanrahan’s potential is clear.

The former Rockwell College student was nominated for the 2012 IRB Junior World Player of the Year award, while he has sparkled intermittently for Munster at out-half, centre and fullback.

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,”  said Hanrahan.

“Growing up, Munster was all I knew and I will certainly miss it. I am very fortunate to have represented the province and team but I need to do what is best for me and avail of the next opportunity.

“I have had nothing but positive experiences at Munster. It is my home club and running out in the red jersey has been and remains a great privilege.

JJ Hanrahan Hanrahan has made seven starts for Munster this season. Source: James Crombie/INPHO

“The coaching staff, from the academy through to the senior coaches, have been brilliant with me since I entered the academy. I remain fully committed to the Munster cause in the Pro12 and the European Champions Cup for the remainder of the season.”

Speaking from Munster’s point of view, CEO Garrett Fitzgerald expressed the province’s disappointment.

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 the author:

Murray Kinsella

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