In a surprise move, Ireland international Donnacha Ryan is reportedly set to call time on his Munster career and follow teammate Dave Foley to France.
The Irish Examiner are reporting that the 33-year-old has in fact already signed a two-year deal with Racing 92, wherein he will link up with Munster legend Ronan O’Gara.
Should the reports prove true, last weekend’s Six Nations appearance against England will likely be Ryan’s last for Ireland. The IRFU’s policy of not picking foreign-based players means that the lock will not even be considered for selection until such time as he returns to his homeland, as has been the case for Ian Madigan and JJ Hanrahan.
It will, however, be a massive blow for Schmidt as Ryan had started in four of Ireland’s five matches during the campaign.
In thirteen years with the province, Ryan has made over 160 appearances and was part of the side that won the Heineken Cup in 2008, as well as helping to secure two Celtic League titles at the turn of the decade.
While a summer exit seems to be on the horizon, Ryan will play no part in Munster’s Pro 12 clash with Zebre this weekend, having been given time off by Rassie Erasmus along with the rest of his international teammates. Neither Munster nor Racing have commented on Saturday’s report thus far.
Reports of Ryan’s exit come on the same week that Foley announced his intention to leave for Pau.
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