Ireland U20 stars Flannery and Hodnett enter Munster academy

MUNSTER HAVE RECRUITED two of the standout performers of Ireland’s U20 Grand Slam success, with both Jake Flannery and John Hodnett among four new players entering the province’s academy for the 2019/20 season.

Joining Flannery and Hodnett in year one of the academy set-up are Paddy Kelly, a member of Ireland’s extended U20 Six Nations squad, and 18-year-old second row Eoin O’Connor.

Jake Flannery has been training with Johann van Graan’s senior squad. Source: Oisin Keniry/INPHO

Flannery featured in all of Ireland’s U20 Six Nations and U20 World Championship games last season, impressing for Noel McNamara’s side in a number of positions across the backline, notably at fullback and out-half.

The 20-year-old, a student at University of Limerick, made his Munster ‘A’ debut during last season’s Celtic Cup campaign, while also playing AIL rugby with Shannon RFC. 

Back row Hodnett was one of Ireland’s most consistent performers during their Grand Slam success, while also impressing in making five appearances for Munster ‘A’ last term. 

The 20-year-old, who is studying in UCC, is a product of Clonakilty RFC and alongside O’Connor has come through the Munster regional development squads.

O’Connor has just completed his Leaving Certificate and progresses into the Munster academy having represented the province and Ireland at both U18 and U19 level. 

O’Connor in action for Ireland U18 clubs and schools. Source: Tommy Dickson/INPHO

Kelly, meanwhile, is also added to the Munster academy having played in the Junior and Senior Schools Cups with St Munchin’s College.

The teenage second row played his club rugby at Young Munster last season, while also making his Munster ‘A’ debut during the Cara Cup trip to USA. 

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Munster had already announced that Gavin Coombes, Shane Daly, Sean O’Connor and Craig Casey have all been promoted to senior contracts ahead of the new season, while winger James McCarthy was released to return to Wales.

Munster academy 2019/20:

Year Three:

Liam CoombesKeynan KnoxAlex McHenry Jack O’SullivanJack StaffordAlan Tynan

Year Two:

Thomas AhernDiarmuid Barron Jack DalyBen Healy James French Seán FrenchEoghan Clarke Jonathan WrenJosh Wycherley

Year One:

Jake FlanneryJohn HodnettPaddy KellyEoin O’Connor.

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