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Coughlan happy as Foley becomes latest to head for Pau

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By David Kelly

James Coughlan has welcomed the latest Munster exile to link up with France's surprise Champions Cup candidates after second-row Dave Foley confirmed his signing for Pau.

The Pyrénées region side have stormed into contention for the play-off places in the Top 14 despite a modest budget and currently lie in sixth, good enough for automatic qualification for the Champions Cup and a league tilt via the play-offs.

Foley will join another erstwhile colleague Paddy Butler and, with ex-Ulster Academy man Sean Dougall also on the books of a club coached by one-time Munster assistant Simon Mannix, Pau could boast a pack with four Irishmen next term.

"If we got sixth or seventh, we'd be delighted," said Coughlan. "That was our aim at the start of the season but when it comes to Europe, it remains to be seen how seriously the club might take it if we did qualify, given that we have one of the smallest budgets in the league."

Clonmel native Foley, 28, made his debut against Connacht in April 2010 but his European debut didn't arrive until 2014, such is the competition within the squad that has arguably led him to this decision.

He made 84 appearances but a wrist injury sustained in February ended his current campaign.

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