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Foley given lift as Copeland, O'Callaghan and Scannell agree new Munster deals

By Cian Tracey

Published 31/12/2015

Committed: Robin Copeland penned a two-year extension
Committed: Robin Copeland penned a two-year extension

Amidst all the doom and gloom of Munster's wretched run of form and injuries, they have quietly been going about securing the services of several key players.

Conor Murray, Keith Earls and Simon Zebo are yet to commit to their home province, with the latter the only one viewed as a real possibility of leaving.

But Robin Copeland, Dave O'Callaghan and Rory Scannell yesterday became the latest players to sign new deals and that will come as a boost to Anthony Foley, who has been feeling the pressure in recent weeks.

Read more: Vote: The Belfast Telegraph's best sporting moments of 2015 - now it's your call

The back-row pair of Copeland and O'Callaghan have both penned new two-year extensions, while out-half Scannell, who has been making plenty of strides in the senior side this season, has been promoted to a senior contract from the Academy.

"It is great to have Robin, Dave and Rory commit to the province. Each player has their own individual attributes and are all valuable members of this squad," Foley commented.

"With Robin and Dave we are maintaining the services of two hugely physical players that each bring different skill-sets to our overall game.

"In addition to this, both players have proven their versatility over the years in playing across the back-row and at lock, so we are delighted to have players of their calibre in the squad.

"Similar to Dave, we are fortunate to have further home-grown talent like Rory make their way up through the ranks.

"For a young guy who has been playing at the next level for over a year now, we are looking forward to seeing Rory's contribution develop into the future."

The trio follow the likes of CJ Stander and Tommy O'Donnell in signing new deals in recent weeks and Foley will be anxious that Murray, Earls and Zebo soon do the same.

Leinster prop Cian Healy will have his citing complaint for an incident against Toulon reheard in London today.

The 28-year-old is alleged to have struck Toulon hooker Guilhem Guirado with his knee in the 26th minute of the European Champions Cup match at Stade Felix Mayol on December 13.

The initial charge was not proven at a hearing on December 17, but was amended to "dangerous charging or obstructing or grabbing of an opponent without the ball, including shouldering".

Healy was given a two-week ban, but the Irish international appealed and was cleared to face Toulon in the return fixture - a game the French side won 20-16 on December 19.

The decision that the complaint should be reheard by a different judicial officer from the original disciplinary hearing was made by an independent appeal committee on December 23.

Belfast Telegraph

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