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Two-Year Extensions For Munster’s Holland, Archer And O’Byrne

Two-Year Extensions For Munster’s Holland, Archer And O’Byrne

Munster have today confirmed a number of contract updates, including extensions for stand-in captain Billy Holland and fellow forwards Stephen Archer and Kevin O’Byrne.

The senior trio of Billy Holland, Stephen Archer and Kevin O’Byrne have all put pen to paper recently, while Academy players Liam O’Connor, Fineen Wycherley and Calvin Nash have also committed to the province.

The 32-year-old Holland, the most senior member of the current Munster squad with 176 caps, has penned a two-year deal that will see the lock remain with the province until June 2020. An integral member of the squad, he has shown incredible durability in starting the first 16 games of this campaign, only missing out on his first matchday inclusion last weekend.

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Fellow Corkmen Archer and O’Byrne have also signed two-year deals. Tighthead prop Archer is the only player to feature in every game this season and, like Holland, he is one of the more senior players in the squad with the 30-year-old making his 151st appearance in red against Connacht last Saturday. 

At 26, hooker O’Byrne made his European debut against Racing 92 in October and went on to start against Leicester Tigers at Welford Road in round 4. He has played for the province on 28 occasions.

Academy prop O’Connor, who is currently rehabbing a long-term knee injury sustained against the Ospreys, will advance to a two-year senior contract at the start of the 2018/19 season.  After making his European debut as a replacement against Stade Francais in January 2016, the 22-year-old Cork native went on to make his breakthrough at the start of the current campaign, with 11 appearances in the first 12 games of the season. 

Fellow Academy forward Wycherley will also make the step up at the end of the season after signing a one-year development deal. From Bantry in West Cork, the 20-year-old lock has made six appearances so far in the GUINNESS PRO14.

Academy winger Nash has also signed up to a one-year development contract for the beginning of the 2018/19 season. Hailing from Limerick, the 20-year-old has made four appearances in the PRO14 to date.

Continuing on the Academy front, the South African duo of Keynan Knox and Matt More, both 18, recently linked up with Peter Malone’s charges after completing their schools rugby with Michaelhouse and St. Andrew’s College respectively.  Knox, a tighthead prop, and More, who plays at centre and full-back, are training with Munster’s first year Academy recruits.