Ulster miss out on Joey Carbery as Munster deal confirmed
Munster have landed Joey Carbery as the saga over the young out-half comes to a conclusion.
Having played a role in convincing the 22-year-old out-half to leave Leinster in search of more game-time at No 10, Ireland coach Joe Schmidt is expected to address the matter at his first press conference since the Six Nations later today.
The Ireland coach needs his preferred back-up to Johnny Sexton to play more in his preferred position, but Leinster have largely used him as a full-back this year.
The loss of such a talented home-grown player is a blow to the eastern province.
Carbery was named on the bench for both the Champions Cup and Guinness PRO14 finals ahead of Ross Byrne, but Byrne has started far more games in the pivotal position and has earned a spot on the June tour through his performances.
Initially, a move to Ulster was suggested to both Carbery and Byrne after Paddy Jackson's contract was revoked, but after further discussion the idea of transferring south appealed to Carbery who has endured sleepless nights weighing up his decision.
He met with Munster coach Johann van Graan last week to discuss a potential move.
Munster have four Irish qualified out-halves on their books already and it’s unclear how the arrival of Carbery affects the futures of Ian Keatley, JJ Hanrahan, Tyler Bleyendaal and Bill Johnston.
Bleyendaal was signed as the number one choice and got a run of games under Rassie Erasmus, but has been plagued by neck injuries and has missed most of this season.
All four are in contract next season.
Ireland depart for Australia in the next 48 hours, with a group flying later today and another following tomorrow.
The full squad expected to travel. Robbie Henshaw, Rory Best, Iain Henderson and Bundee Aki are all recovered from their recent injuries and should be available for the first Test on Saturday week.
The squad assembled for a pre-departure training camp earlier this week, with Niall Scannell, Rhys Ruddock, Luke McGrath and Sam Arnold all involved despite not being part of the initial squad.