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Hanrahan’s Northampton Move Is Confirmed

Hanrahan’s Northampton Move Is Confirmed

Munster Rugby today confirmed that JJ Hanrahan will leave the province at the end of the current season to join England Premiership club Northampton Saints.

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

The Kerry youngster 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 the Newport Gwent Dragons at Thomond Park in September 2012.

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A former Castleisland RFC, Rockwell College and UL Bohemians player, he moved to the Munster senior squad at the start of the 2012/13 season after completing two years of the province’s Academy programme.

In June 2012 he played an impressive role at out-half for the Ireland Under-20 team that finished fifth at the Junior World Championship in South Africa and was one of three players nominated for the IRB Junior Player of the Year award.

Hanrahan made his European debut against Edinburgh at Thomond Park in October 2012, 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 helped Emerging Ireland win the IRB Nations Cup in Romania.

Commenting on his departure from Munster, 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 the province 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 admitted: “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.”