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Munster Add Fresh Crop Of Ireland U-20 Talent To Academy Squad

Munster Add Fresh Crop Of Ireland U-20 Talent To Academy Squad

Sean Edogbo is pictured during a Munster training session at UL earlier this month ©INPHO/Ben Brady

Munster Rugby have confirmed Seán Edogbo, Michael Foy, Luke Murphy, Gene O’Leary Kareem, Jake O’Riordan, and Danny Sheahan as the six new additions to their Academy for the 2024/25 season.

Edogbo, Murphy, and Sheahan all played for Ireland during this year’s Under-20 Six Nations, while scrum half O’Riordan has joined them in the squad to take part in the World Rugby U-20 Championship which begins next week in South Africa.

Teenagers Foy (18) and O’Leary Kareem (19) started both of the Ireland Under-19s’ April fixtures against France, including the 19-10 win over the French U-20 Development side at St. Mary’s College RFC.

As previously confirmed, Edwin Edogbo, Tony Butler, Ethan Coughlan, Mark Donnelly, and Brian Gleeson will move up from the Academy to the senior squad next season.

Speaking about the new Academy intake and their development in the Munster Rugby pathway, Academy and Pathway Manager Gearoid Prendergast said: “It’s exciting times. The Academy is in a really good place. I suppose historically, if you look at the numbers in recent years, we’ve been going 12 to 14 approximately.

“Now we’re at a number of 18 players. That’s not to say that the quality is diluted in any way. In fact, if anything, it’s gone up. I suppose that’s a reflection on our pathway as well, in that we’re now producing that high quality player but in greater numbers.

“In one sense, it’s more of a headache in selecting top quality players, but that’s a good headache, and it’s a really good reflection on our talent ID system as well, on our coaching and our pathway, our systems, and our relationships with the schools and the clubs, etc.

“It’s culminated now in a very strong Academy. We’ve six new players coming in, a mixture of forwards and backs. A very exciting group of players, some coming out of the schools game, some playing with the Irish 20s this year. Really exciting, talented players, very dynamic some of them.

“Some of them have already got really good experience, good exposure, familiar with the senior set-up in terms of exposure to training with the senior team. Have come through the NTS (National Talent Squad) programme in some cases as well.”


Seán Edogbo
Position: Back Rower
Age: 20 (08/05/2004)

Seán started out his rugby career with Cobh Pirates RFC, playing all of his age-grade rugby with the east Cork club.

The 20-year-old, who is the younger brother of Munster lock Edwin, won a Munster U-18 Clubs Cup title with Cobh Pirates when his side beat Waterpark 33-27 in a memorable final at Virgin Media Park in April 2022, where he scored two crucial tries.

Over the last two seasons, Edogbo has played his Energia All-Ireland League rugby with UCC RFC and represented the Ireland U-20s during this year’s U-20 Six Nations, while he was also selected for this summer’s World Rugby U-20 Championship. He has represented Munster at age-grade level.

Michael Foy
Position: Second Row
Age: 18 (23/11/2005)

Michael started out with Carrigaline RFC before playing age-grade rugby with Cork Constitution FC.

Over the last two seasons, Foy played in back-to-back Pinergy Munster Schools Boys Senior Cup finals with Christian Brothers College.

The 18-year-old represented the Ireland Under-19s this season, starting against France in April’s 19-10 win in Dublin, while he also lined out for Munster U-19s during the Interprovincial Championship at the beginning of the 2023/24 season.

Luke Murphy
Position: Back Rower
Age: 19 (27/01/2005)

Luke started playing his rugby with Shannon RFC, while he also lined out with Ardscoil Rís throughout his school years, which included the Munster Schools Boys Junior Cup and the Pinergy Munster Schools Boys Senior Cup.

Murphy returned to action with Shannon this season where he got game-time in Energia All-Ireland League Men’s Division 1A.

The back rower has also represented Munster age-grade sides over the years, and won his first Ireland U-20 caps during this year’s U-20 Six Nations. He has been included in the Ireland squad for this summer’s World Rugby U-20 Championship.

Gene O’Leary Kareem
Position: Centre
Age: 19 (06/06/2005)

Gene started his rugby career with Highfield RFC before lining out for Presentation Brothers College Cork throughout his school years.

The centre has been involved in three consecutive Pinergy Munster Schools Boys Senior Cup finals, winning the most recent two which included captaining PBC to this season’s title win over CBC in the final.

He has represented both Munster and Ireland in age-grade rugby, lining out for both the Munster and Ireland Under-19s this season. He also captained the Ireland Under-18 Sevens team during last summer’s Rugby Europe U-18 Men’s Sevens Championship.

Jake O’Riordan
Position: Scrum Half
Age: 19 (17/12/2004)

Jake came up through the ranks of Bruff RFC where he played age-grade rugby for the County Limerick club before lining out for St. Munchin’s College in the Pinergy Munster Schools Boys Senior Cup for two seasons.

At the end of the 2022/23 season, the teenage scrum half made his Energia All-Ireland League debut for Bruff, before representing UL Bohemian RFC in Division 2A throughout the 2023/24 campaign.

He has played age-grade rugby for Munster and Ireland, and was selected in the Ireland Under-20 squad for the 2024 U-20 Six Nations and the upcoming World Rugby U-20 Championship. He has also impressed for the Munster Development and ‘A’ sides this year.

Danny Sheahan
Position: Hooker
Age: 20 (07/04/2004)

Danny played with Presentation Brothers College Cork throughout his school years, and was involved in the 2022 final of the Pinergy Munster Schools Boys Senior Cup when PBC were beaten by Crescent College Comprehensive.

In the 2022/23 season, the promising hooker played his Energia All-Ireland League rugby with UCC. He moved to Cork Constitution FC last summer and won a Division 1A title, coming off the bench in the final against Terenure College to score the match-winning try.

He has played for the Ireland Under-20s in two U-20 Six Nations campaigns and last summer’s World Rugby U-20 Championship, while he is set to be involved again in the upcoming global U-20 showpiece in South Africa. He has also represented Munster at age-grade level.


Year 1 –

Jake O’Riordan, Gene O’Leary Kareem, Michael Foy, Danny Sheahan, Seán Edogbo, Luke Murphy

Year 2 –

George Hadden, Dylan Hicks, Shay McCarthy, Ben O’Connor, Max Clein, Ronan Foxe

Year 3 –

Fionn Gibbons, Darragh McSweeney, Evan O’Connell, Jack Oliver, Ruadhán Quinn, Kieran Ryan

As with previous seasons, there may be more additions to the Academy squad throughout the campaign.

Tony Butler, Ethan Coughlan, Mark Donnelly, Edwin Edobgo, and Brian Gleeson are promoted to the senior squad for the 2024/25 season.