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Timely Boost For Munster As Five Players Sign Contract Extensions

Timely Boost For Munster As Five Players Sign Contract Extensions

Shane Daly is congratulated by Craig Casey after scoring a try for Munster against the Dragons last season ©INPHO/Tom Maher

Munster Rugby and the IRFU have confirmed the first player contract extensions of the season for the province, with five members of the current senior squad putting pen to paper.

Craig Casey has signed a three-year contract, while Mike Haley, Shane Daly and Josh Wycherley have signed two-year contract extensions.

Additionally, Alex Kendellen, who advanced to the senior ranks at the beginning of the season on a new two-year deal, has extended his contract further to remain with the province until at least July 2025.

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Scrum half Casey has made 49 appearances for the province since his debut against Connacht in 2019.

The 23-year-old Shannon man and former Ardscoil Rís pupil won the Munster Academy Player of the Year award in 2019 and was also vice-captain of the Grand Slam-winning Ireland Under-20 team that year.

He was named Munster’s Young Player of the Year in 2021 and has made 38 appearances over the past two seasons, along with earning five Ireland caps.

Haley joined Munster from Sale Sharks in 2018 and has already amassed 80 appearances for the province, starting at full-back on each occasion and scoring 16 tries.

The Preston native played more minutes than any other Munster player during the 2018/19 and 2020/21 campaigns. He made his Ireland debut against Italy in August 2019.

The 28-year-old made his Munster debut against the Toyota Cheetahs in 2018 and has been almost ever-present at full-back since then.

A product of the Greencore Munster Rugby Academy, versatile back Daly joined the senior squad in 2019 and has established himself as a key member of the playing panel.

He was named Munster’s Young Player of the Year in 2020, with the Cork Constitution clubman and former Pres Cork student also earning two Ireland caps over the past two years.

To date, the 25-year-old has scored eight tries in 49 Munster appearances and starts at full-back for Emerging Ireland against the Windhoek Draught Griquas in Bloemfontein today.

Meanwhile, Wycherley enjoyed a standout season last year making 19 appearances for Munster. He has an overall tally of 29 matches in red to date.

The 23-year-old prop made his debut against Cardiff Blues at Thomond Park in October 2020. His first Heineken Champions Cup start was singled out for high praise when Munster defeated Clermont Auvergne in December 2020.

His grassroots stem from Bantry Bay RFC and he is a former pupil of Cistercian College Roscrea. He linked up with Young Munster RFC on his move to Limerick.

A former Ireland Under-20 Six Nations Grand Slam winner, Wycherley also starts for Emerging Ireland against the Griquas as they begin their Toyota Challenge campaign.

The 21-year-old Kendellen was initially named in the Emerging Ireland squad for the South Africa tour, but did not travel as he continues to follow the return-to-play protocols.

A product of Pres Cork and UCC, the back rower was deservedly named the Munster Academy Player of the Year last June after a fantastic season that saw him line out in 20 of the province’s 26 games.

Kendellen made his provincial debut against the Scarlets in March 2021 and has tallied up 22 appearances so far.

He captained the Ireland Under-20s for the 2021 U-20 Six Nations and was a standout performer as they finished third, scoring six tries in five appearances.