Munster Rugby and the IRFU have confirmed today that Denis Hurley has signed a contract extension with the province.
It has also been announced that Paddy Butler and Sean Dougall will leave Munster at the end of the current season. Both players did not seek to renew their contracts which expire at the end of the current season. Dougall is moving to French Pro D2 side Pau.
Currently in his ninth season with Munster, Denis Hurley has signed a one-year contract extension that will see him remain with the province until June 2016.
A product of the Munster Academy, the Cork-born player has made 144 appearances, scoring 12 tries, his most recent against Saracens at Allianz Park. This season he has been a regular at inside centre but for previous years he has featured on the wing or at full-back.
The 30-year-old Hurley made his Munster debut in May 2006 against the Scarlets and went on to make his Heineken Cup debut against Gloucester in the 2008 quarter-final at Kingsholm. He won an international senior cap against USA in June 2009 and has represented Ireland ‘A’ on nine occasions.
Talking about Hurley’s contract extension and the departures of Butler and Dougall, Munster head coach Anthony Foley said: “In re-signing Denis we are maintaining the services of a talented and experienced individual. Denis has always shown his leadership qualities and versatility, providing us with a number of options across the back-line.
“It is always disappointing to see guys leave. In professional sport you have to be ambitious, and players are eager to secure game-time, but with the back row being such a competitive area within our squad it is an ongoing challenge to satisfy all parties.
“We wish both players the very best of luck for the future but before then they have a job to do here. Knowing Paddy and Sean they will want to achieve success with this squad and give it their all for the remainder of the season.”
Butler, a Rockwell College graduate and Shannon RFC clubman, joined the Munster squad at the start of the 2010/11 season, making his first league appearance against Connacht that December.
The Tipperary back rower went on to make his European debut when coming off the bench against Racing Metro 92 at Stade de France in October 2012. The 24-year-old has made 57 appearances for the province and scored six tries. Last June he joined the Emerging Ireland squad in Romania where they won the Nations Cup.
Fellow back rower Dougall joined the province from Rotherham Titans at the start of the 2012/13 season. The 25-year-old has 37 Munster caps and scored six tries. Scottish born, he made his provincial debut against Edinburgh at Murrayfield in September 2012 and made a seamless introduction to European rugby just over a month later.
He started against Racing Metro at Stade de France, scoring a try, and in round 2 he followed up with a try against Edinburgh at Thomond Park. Like Butler, Dougall played in Emerging Ireland’s 2014 Nations Cup-winning campaign.