Rúaidhrí O’Connor of The Irish Independent is reporting this morning that Munster are set to lose the services of Keith Earls to English giants Saracens.
This comes as a major blow to the Irish province, as the Limerick man is reportedly going to turn down a new contract offer in favour of a move to the Premiership champions on a three year deal.
This would be a serious coup for Sarries, who are leading the Premiership this term, and are favourites in many people’s minds to capture the European Cup.
The Ireland international is not believed to be motivated by money, but rather by family issues.
The IRFU are primed to launch a last ditch bid to keep the 28-year-old on a central contract, but this may be a lost cause.
This comes after the news yesterday that Marty Moore is joining Wasps, and a month after Ian Madigan signed for Bordeaux. While an exodus has been predicted for many years, it has finally come to pass in recent weeks.
With doubts lingering over Simon Zebo’s future at Thomond Park, Munster coach Anthony Foley is sure to be a worried man, as his two star backs could be gone by next season.
Earls is a top class player, and showed that in the home bonus point victory over Stade Francais, scoring a remarkable solo try.
Joe Schmidt did not select one overseas based player in the Six Nations squad, and this appears to be a policy of the IRFU, where feasibly possible. However, it is uncertain how long the union can uphold such a policy considering how many stars are leaving the country.