Munster Contract Time
Munster today announced another raft of fresh contract extensions and a new signing for next season namely scrum half Nick Mc Carthy who will move from Leinster next year on a two year deal. While this news will be welcomed by most people, it will again beg the question of the Munster Academy set up, why have they had to go to another province yet again to bring in a scrum half when there has been a few options in the Academy in recent years like Jack Stafford, John Poland and a few years ago a player by the name of Jack Cullen was brought in through the Exiles system and played only a few times for Munster A.
Also a player like Ryan Foley who is now plying his trade in France were in the Munster set up and have now gone on to pastures new. Leinster will lose another player and while his opportunities were limited at Leinster by Jamison Gibson Park, Luke Mc Grath and others he has still racked up 30 first team games in the blue of Leinster.
Not for one moment am I say that Munster don’t do good work at academy level and also players reach a certain stage and they will either break through or find other opportunities outside of professional sport. It is a tough business and only small numbers make it through to play professionally in any position. As a pro you just have to make the most of every chance that comes your way and you can be certain that Nick Mc Carthy weighted up all his options before agreeing to this move.
On the plus side he will get the chance to play with Joey Carbery and Tyler Bleyendaal while learning from Conor Murray who he will compete with for the 9 jersey. Leinster do seem to be the go too Province if another is struggling to fill a certain gap in a squad. Many men have now made the move south and yes the move east was also fashionable in the not too distant past, men like Mike Ross via Harlequins, Paul Wallace via Saracens, Liam Toland , Brian O Meara have also gone the other way so for people saying it’s always the Leinster players being cherry picked , have a look at old programmes and you will see this move was common long before the professional game took hold.
Munster do need to revise the way they are producing players, yes there are only limited spots in an academy and really only one player in each position will get in if they are lucky so It is a charmed life. As a professional you have to go where the opportunities are and this move from Nick Mc Carthy will also help Joe Schmidt in the long term with more options in the scrum half position.
The men to sign new deals today with Munster are Chris Farrell on a three year deal , Chris Cloete who signed a two year extension to his current three year deal , Neil Cronin , James Cronin and Tommy O Donnell have all signed new two year deals today so it’s a good day for all concerned with Munster Rugby.