Munster eye London Irish star Sheridan to fill void left by Laulala
MUNSTER could target London Irish centre Eamonn Sheridan as they look to replace the Racing Metro-bound Casey Laulala next season.
Coach Rob Penney has stated that any signing must be endorsed by the IRFU, saying that "there are challenges in finding quality centres" -- but with the former Leinster man in a rich vein of form and admitting he would have to consider a move back to Ireland if the right club came in, he fits the bill for the Reds.
The Pro12 leaders have already recruited Wexford's Robin Copeland from Cardiff Blues for next season, with the No 8 admitting that he wants to put himself in the frame for Ireland by making the move.
Sheridan, who scored two tries against Gloucester last weekend, has one-year left to run on his current deal with London Irish and, given his impressive debut season at the club, it would be no surprise to see him offered a contract extension.
However, a move home and a shot at impressing his former coach Joe Schmidt could yet sway the Meathman.
"There are pros and cons with a move back to Ireland," he said.
"Obviously going back home would be good but, at the same time, I'm settled here and getting loads of game time. It's a hard situation to think about when it's not actually happening, but I would never shut any possibility off.
"I think it's a natural progression that if you do well here and you want to go back home and play, the option is more likely to be there. If a club rates you highly enough to try and sign you, you're going to take that seriously and consider it."
Penney's short-term focus is on overcoming Ulster at Ravenhill tonight in an eagerly anticipated derby clash. The New Zealander has recalled Tommy O'Donnell, Paul O'Connell and captain Peter O'Mahony.
Ulster are missing skipper Johann Muller but are boosted by the return of Irish pair Chris Henry and Iain Henderson.