Munster received a huge boost during the week with the news that Joey Carbery signed a two-year contract extension with the southern province which will bring him up to the end of the 2021/22 season.
Getting Carbery’s signature so soon into his initial two-year deal is a huge coup for the club and it sends a statement of intent that they are continuously looking to grow over the next couple of seasons.
The Auckland born outhalf must also be very happy with the short time he has spent in Limerick after agreeing to extend his stay when he has yet to complete his first full season with the club.
Ronan O’Gara, writing in his column for The Irish Examiner, believes that it is the best bit of business that Munster have done since agreeing on a new contract for Conor Murray and that it also shows that Carbery is buying into the project down south.
“Signing Joey Carbery up to 2022 is arguably the best piece of business Munster has done since they tied down Conor Murray’s future,” O’Gara wrote.
“The reality (which Leo Cullen and Stuart Lancaster feared) is that Joey has now experienced Thomond Park. He doesn’t have that deep-blue blood of Leinster, and if you don’t get a rush from playing in Thomond Park, you don’t sign up until 2022. He has sampled, and I would say savoured, that experience, and he probably knows it will only get better, with Munster improving.”
O’Gara also believes that Carbery’s New Zealand upbringing (he moved to Ireland when he was 11) resonates with Munster.
“The Kiwi mentality would be very similar to Munster’s. He would appreciate, and enjoy, people stopping him on the street to chat rugby: ‘how are you getting on?’; Great to have you down here’.
“In Christchurch or Wellington, it’s the same thing. There’s a real sense the locals are interested, that they’re invested in you and whether you feel appreciated. For a pivotal playing position, like No 10, having that in your pocket is half the battle.”
Carbery has been named to start in Munster’s Heineken Champions Cup quarter-final clash with Edinburgh which takes places on Saturday (KO 12:45).
You can find O’Gara’s full column in The Irish Examiner, here.