Munster to keep star duo as they also announce a number of departures
Munster Rugby and the IRFU confirmed on Friday morning that Ian Keatley and Jaco Taute have both signed contract extensions.
Meanwhile a number of players are set to leave the province at the end of this season, including Donnacha Ryan and Francis Saili.
Keatley has been with Munster since September 2011 and most recently marked his 150th appearance for the province with a man of the match performance against Connacht in the Guinness PRO12.
The 30-year-old became only the second Munster player ever to score over 1000 points, achieving the milestone against Zebre in Thomond Park in October. Keatley, with five caps for Ireland, has signed up to the province for a further two years.
Springbok Jaco Taute has also signed a two-year deal keep him with the province until 2019.
Initially arriving on a loan basis from the Stormers and Western Province, the centre has made a massive impact for Rassie Erasmus's side scoring 8 tries in his 24 appearances.
Director of Rugby Rassie Erasmus was delighted that Munster secured the services of the two back-men.
“With Ian and Jaco we are retaining the services of two quality players," he enthused. "Both highly experienced and versatile, they not only add value on field but are also good guys to have in our environment.”
Donnacha Ryan, Munster's most capped player of the current squad is departing the province, however.
Ryan is moving to France where he will join up with Johnny Sexton's former club and Top 14 side Racing 92 at the end of the season. The Tipperary-man has made 165 appearances for the Reds.
Ryan enjoyed a 13-year-career in the red jersey and during which he experienced Magners League and Heineken Cup success. He has lined out 47-times for his country lining and last November the flanker played a key role Ireland’s historic victory against the All Blacks in Chicago.
The 26-year-old New Zealand-born centre Francis Saili is also leaving the province at the end of the season, as are forwards Peter McCabe and lock John Madigan.
Cian Bohane and lock Mark Chisholm have both confirmed their retirements from professional rugby.
Episode 45 of The Hard Yards rugby podcast features an interview with former Munster outhalf Johnny Holland, while James Downey joins us in studio.
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