Four players have been added to the Greencore Munster Rugby Academy ahead of the 2019/20 season. The Year One recruits are Jake Flannery (Shannon), John Hodnett (UCC), Paddy Kelly (Young Munster) and Eoin O’Connor (Waterpark).
As the province’s pathway continues to produce players from across the clubs and schools, two of the new additions are products of the Munster Regional Development squads – Hodnett and O’Connor.
As previously confirmed, four Academy players have already joined the senior ranks this summer with Gavin Coombes (back rower/Young Munster), Shane Daly (centre/Cork Constitution), Sean O’Connor (lock/Garryowen) and Craig Casey (scrum half/Shannon) all promoted.
James McCarthy was released from the Academy at the end of this past season.
20-year-old out-half/full-back Jake Flannery started his rugby career at Kilfeacle & District RFC before progressing to schools rugby at Rockwell College.
From Tipperary, Flannery was one of the standout performers for the Grand Slam-winning Ireland Under-20s this year and also featured prominently in this summer’s World Rugby Under-20 Championship in Argentina.
Now a student at UL, he earned maximum points in his Leaving Cert in 2018 and also made his Munster ‘A’ debut in the Celtic Cup and his All Ireland League debut with Shannon RFC last season.
20-year-old back rower John Hodnett is a product of Clonakilty RFC. The Cork youngster was another standout performer for the Grand Slam-winning Ireland Under-20s in the U-20 Six Nations and also the World Rugby U-20 Championship before he got injured.
Hodnett studies at UCC and plays his All Ireland League rugby for the College. He made five appearances for Munster ‘A’ in the Celtic Cup last season.
19-year-old second row Paddy Kelly is a product of St. Munchin’s College and played in the Clayton Hotels Munster Schools Junior and Senior Cup competitions.
Kelly played his club rugby at Young Munster last season and has represented the Ireland Under-18 Clubs & Schools and Ireland Under-19 teams along with being named in the extended Ireland U-20 squad for this year’s U-20 Six Nations.
A student at UL, the Limerick native made his Munster ‘A’ debut last season and also toured with the provincial side to the USA for the Cara Cup.
18-year-old second row Eoin O’Connor (pictured below) is a product of Waterpark RFC and played in the Munster Junior League with the club last season while a sixth year student.
The Waterford native has represented Munster and Ireland at both Under-18 and Under-19 levels. He was a try scorer on his first appearance for Munster ‘A’ in January’s victory over Leinster ‘A’ at Thomond Park.
GREENCORE MUNSTER RUGBY ACADEMY SQUAD – 2019/20 SEASON:
Year Three –
Liam Coombes (back-three/Garryowen)
Keynan Knox (prop/Young Munster)
Alex McHenry (centre/Cork Constitution)
Jack O’Sullivan (back rower/UCC)
Jack Stafford (scrum half/Shannon)
Alan Tynan (full-back/Young Munster)
Year Two –
Thomas Ahern (lock/Shannon)
Diarmuid Barron (hooker/Garryowen)
Jack Daly (back rower/Garryowen)
Ben Healy (out-half/Garryowen)
James French (prop/UCC)
Seán French (centre/Cork Constitution)
Eoghan Clarke (hooker/Shannon)
Jonathan Wren (back-three/Cork Constitution)
Josh Wycherley (prop/Young Munster)
Year One –
Jake Flannery (out-half/full-back/Shannon)
John Hodnett (back rower/UCC)
Paddy Kelly (lock/Young Munster)
Eoin O’Connor (lock/Waterpark)