Ian Keatley agrees new two-year Munster deal
Ireland international among four Munstermen to agree new deals with the province
Ian Keatley has agreed a new two-year contract that will see him stay with Munster until at least June 2017.
The 27-year-old Dublin-born outside-half, who joined the province in 2011 after three seasons at Connacht, has become a mainstay in the side under Rob Penney and current head coach Anthony Foley.
He leads by example with his commitment and attitude and we are fortunate to have him in our side.
Keatley has made 89 appearances for the province, scoring 703 points, and in November became just the third player to score over 1,000 points in the PRO12, joinning former Glasgow Warriors, Cardiff Blues and Connacht outside-half Dan Park, and Ospreys outside-half Dan Biggar.
The Ireland international is one of four players to sign new deals along with development players Shane Buckley and Cian Bohane, and Munster A squad captain Jack O’Donoghue.
But his outside-half rival JJ Hanrahan turned down a new three-year deal to agree a move to Aviva Premiership champions Northampton Saints in the summer.
“Ian is into his fourth season with us and continues to grow, and impress,” Foley said.
“He leads by example with his commitment and attitude and we are fortunate to have him in our side.
“He showed great composure last week to kick in difficult conditions and like great 10s before him he can certainly kick a drop-goal when needed.”
Development player Buckley, who made his senior debut in the back row against Edinburgh in September and has represented Ireland U20s at two Junior World Championships, will remain with the province until at least June 2016.
It is always rewarding when securing up and coming home-grown talent such as Bohane, Buckley, O’Byrne and O’Donoghue, and is a testament to what we have to offer here in Munster.
Fellow Cork man and development player Bohane, who has made two senior appearances, has also signed a one-year extension and will progress to a full contract at the start of the 2016/17 season.
Third-year Greencore Academy player O’Donoghue, who captained Ireland U20s at the Junior World Championships in New Zealand in 2014, has penned a three-year deal which will see him advance to development status for 2015/16 and full-contract status from 2016/17.
Former Connacht Academy hooker Kevin O’Byrne, who joined the province at the start of the summer on a training contact and has made eight appearances for the province due to a number of injuries in the position, will remain with the province until the end of the season on a development contract.
“We are extremely pleased that this group of players have committed their talents to the province,” Foley added.
“It is always rewarding when securing up and coming home-grown talent such as Bohane, Buckley, O’Byrne and O’Donoghue, and is a testament to what we have to offer here in Munster.
“We have guys that are highly sought after in a competitive environment and it’s great for our squad to know that these guys want to contribute to their home province and compete for the jersey.
“We have only seen glimpses of what these young players can do and we look forward to guiding their development.”