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Burns To Make Switch From Ulster To Munster

Burns To Make Switch From Ulster To Munster

Billy Burns is pictured with his BKT URC player-of-the-match medal following Ulster's win away to Leinster earlier in the season ©INPHO/Laszlo Geczo

Munster Rugby and the IRFU have confirmed that Billy Burns will join the province next year, with John Ryan and Cian Hurley signing contract extensions with Graham Rowntree’s side.

Ireland international Burns will join Munster in the summer on a one-year contract after spending the past six years at Ulster.

The 29-year-old out-half has made 107 appearances for Ulster since joining from Gloucester in 2018. He made his Ireland debut against Wales in 2020 and has earned seven caps.

Prior to joining Ulster, Burns played 101 times for Gloucester having made his debut for the English Premiership club as a 17-year-old. Born in Bath, he qualifies for Ireland through his paternal grandfather Tommy, who was born in Dublin.

Munster head coach Rowntree commented: “Billy, yeah, I’m excited by it all, actually. Doing research on him, he’s going to be great. He’s going to be particularly good for helping the young guys come through.

“We need someone with a bit of experience, and he’s at a crossroads in his career. He’s 29 and it is a new challenge for him. He likes how we’re playing the game, and I think he’s going to fit in really well.

“When the opportunity came to speak to him, I was really excited. But having spoke to him, I think he’s going to be a great addition to this squad.”

Meanwhile, tighthead prop Ryan has signed a one-year contract extension. He has made 217 Munster appearances since his debut for his native province in September 2011.

From Berrings in County Cork, he is a 24-times capped Ireland international and has made 13 appearances for the Munstermen during the current campaign.

A hectic 2022/23 season saw the 35-year-old line out for Wasps in England, win the BKT United Rugby Championship with Munster, and also reach a Super Rugby Pacific final with the Chiefs in New Zealand.

Hurley has also signed a one-year contract extension having graduated from the Munster Academy to the senior squad last summer.

The 23-year-old, who recently returned from an Achilles/ankle injury, can play in the second row and the back row, and has made five senior appearances to date.

A product of Clonakilty RFC and CBC Cork, Hurley plays his All-Ireland League rugby for Garryowen. He made his senior debut for Munster at the age of 20 against Benetton Rugby in March 2021.

Packing down alongside a then-21-year-old Tom Ahern, the pair became Munster Rugby’s youngest starting second row combination of the professional era.