Munster risk losing some of their best players this summer.
Writing in the Irish Independent today, Ruaidhri O’Connor, has reported that some of Munster’s key players have yet to sign new contracts with either the province or the IRFU.
While IRFU contract negotiations can often be drawn out affairs, given that French and English clubs are flush with cash from newly acquired TV deals, the stakes could not be higher.
Indeed, as the players in question are Simon Zebo, Conor Murray, CJ Stander, Keith Earls and James Cronin, it would seem likely that they would attract interest from a number of Top 14 and Premiership clubs.
Nonetheless, moves seem to be underway to secure the signatures of the quintet. Munster coach, Anthony Foley, told O’Connor that he has spoken to the IRFU’s Performance Director, David Nucifora, regarding the players contracts.
The conversations that we would have had with him would have been during the summer.
It just takes time from there. It becomes a patience game. Obviously a lot of guys who are at the World Cup don’t want to be talking contracts when they are at the World Cup. Guys in the middle of the group stages don’t want to be annoyed.
He (Nucifora) has got to pick his moments around talking to these players and make sure everyone’s across it.
However after losing JJ Hanrahan to the Northampton Saints last season and with Zebo linked with a move to France, Foley and Munster will want Nucifora to conclude the negotiations quickly.
Alan Drumm, Pundit Arena