Rob Penney could not resist the glaringly obvious after Munster announced Johnny Holland's retirement 3 years ago

Rob Penney could not resist the glaringly obvious after Munster announced Johnny Holland's retirement

Is there any way - any way at all - they can get on the phone to Currow's finest ever outhalf and get him back?

Just before midday today came the sad news that Johnny Holland has been forced to retire. Turned 25 on Tuesday; retired on Thursday.

The Cork native played just 12 games for Munster but the bulk of them came last season as he ousted Ian Keatley from the No.10 jersey and gave glimpses of true talent, and nerve.

He tore his hamstring off the bone in 2014 and even though he fought back bravely, the old injury never truly healed. In a statement today, he declared:

"I am very proud to have represented my home province, especially at the end of last season, and am thankful for the support from underage rugby all the way up."

The Munster faithful, his teammates and coaches have all wished him well and many, many more messages will flood in over the coming hours and days. Holland may do a spot of travelling - get away from it all for a while.

Professional sport moves on. Munster kick off their league campaign away to Scarlets on Saturday and are set to go with Tyler Bleyendaal in the 10 jersey. Ian Keatley is not fully fit.

In wishing Holland all the best, former Munster head coach Rob Penney made a salient point. Some may consider it a dig but it is a point echoed by many Munster fans.

JJ Hanrahan prospered under Penney's management but was forced back to the bench when Anthony Foley took over as head coach.

Far from feeling the love from 'Axel', Hanrahan moved to Northampton Saints. He was back-up outhalf to Stephen Meyler for much of last season but shone in patches when given ample game time.

This season, his Saints side are in the same Champions Cup pool as Leinster. Munster could use him this season and it will be interesting to see if any sort of switch can be arranged.

Perhaps it is time for the prodigal outhalf to return home.

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