Denis Leamy: No more recruits as Munster back academy structures
Munster defence coach Denis Leamy has praised the work of Ian Costello with the province’s academy and says the side won’t be recruiting any more players before next season.
Leamy says that Munster have wrapped up their player recruitment ahead of the 2023/24 season and will instead promote from their academy.
No more recruits
John Ryan will return to Munster after the Super Rugby season, while his Chiefs teammate Alex Nankivell will arrive as a replacement for the departing Malakai Fekitoa.
Former Connacht centre Sean O’Brien will also join from Exeter Chiefs, with the trio being the only new additions from outside of the current squad.
Speaking ahead of the United Rugby Championship quarter-final clash with Glasgow, Leamy was asked whether there was any wiggle room for new additions to the side.
“I don’t believe there is. I think right now that’s what we’re looking at, and I’m not expecting a huge amount of changes around that,” Leamy said.
“Obviously, there’s financial constraints and stuff like that, but to my understanding, that’s where we are at the moment around recruitment.”
Leamy is a former Munster player himself and returned to the side following a spell in the Leinster coaching ranks.
The URC table toppers regularly garner praise for their academy system, and Leamy believes that with Costello running Munster’s academy, they are on the right track.
“We’ve got to grow our academy; we’ve got to get our own, we’ve got to get Munster-born players through,” Leamy said.
“Ian Costello and his academy team are doing an amazing job, and we can really see the structures in place.
“We see day to day the excellence. I worked with the Leinster Academy for two years, a really, really strong production line, world-class.
“I see very similar workings going on, on a daily basis, and it gives me great hope that we can start to produce the Munster-born boy and get him into the jersey for 50, 100, 150 caps.
“That is ultimately what we want to do. We want to get indigenous players playing in a Munster jersey.”
Meanwhile, Munster have been boosted by the return of Tadhg Beirne, while RG Snyman has recovered from his head knock.
However, they will be without veteran back Keith Earls who sustained a grade three groin injury against the Sharks.
The soon-to-be 36-year-old is still in Munster’s plans beyond the World Cup, but Leamy said they need clarification over his future.
“Such a pity, but look, Keith’s with us until the end of the World Cup, so who knows? We’ll have to revisit and have a discussion around that, but he’s still very much in our plans,” the Munster defence coach said on whether his former teammate had played his final game.
“I suppose at some stage we’ll have to sit down with Keith and see what he wants to do.”
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