JJ Hanrahan’s departure to Northampton is desperately deflating for Irish rugby

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JJ Hanrahan’s departure to Northampton is desperately deflating for Irish rugby

Gerry Thornley: Munster kicking themselves after talent slips through fingers

Pic: JJ Hanrahan will play his rugby next season with English Premiership champions Northampton. Photograph: Dan Sheridan/Inpho

There’s something that sticks in the craw about JJ Hanrahan leaving Munster for Northampton and the English Premiership. It’s not just that he’s a truly rare talent. Damnit, he’s from Currow. He’s a Kerry man, like Mick Galwey before him, and a product of Rockwell College and the Munster academy, who was such a star of the Irish Under-20s that he was nominated for the IRB World Junior Player of the Year in 2012. It shouldn’t have come to this.
Out of sight
Ideally, he should have stayed with Munster for life, like Ronan O’Gara did, rather than move, like Jeremy Staunton and Barry Everitt, for a career across the water which more or less saw them out of sight and out of mind when it came to the Ireland team. Or certainly he should have stayed for a little while longer. To lose Hanrahan at 22 years of age is desperately deflating for the Munster organisation and fan base.
Truly talented backs such as Hanrahan don’t exactly fall off trees in Munster. The closest comparison is Staunton, who was 24 when he left for Harlequins and never came back, instead having a nomadic 10-year career in the English Premiership. No disrespect to Ian Keatley, but Munster also had a certain Ronan O’Gara at the time. Staunton’s loss, though regrettable given he could play centre and fullback as well, wasn’t as potentially damaging to his province…………… see more at :- http://www.irishtimes.com/sport/rugby/jj-hanrahan-s-departure-to-northampton-is-desperately-deflating-for-irish-rugby-1.2063221

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