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Archer hits his target for three-year contract


Munster's Stephen Archer in action

Munster's Stephen Archer in action

Munster's Stephen Archer in action

Prop Stephen Archer (above) has signed a three-year contract extension with Munster, while Ireland internationals Dave Foley, Felix Jones and Dave Kilcoyne have extended for two years.

"This is a great step forward for us," said coach Anthony Foley.

"Securing players of this calibre is always a boost for the club and it shows our commitment to developing home-grown players and talent.

"These guys have come through the structures and have reached international level."

At first glance, the length of the deals done seem somewhat curious given how Foley, Jones and Kilcoyne appear to be the more valuable assets to the province, certainly in the international arena.

However, the argument comes down to the position-specific requirements of the Irish provinces with Munster dividing up game time in the critical tight-head corner between BJ Botha and Archer.

There are an abundant stock of alternatives in the second row, full-back and loose-head positions which all plays a part in discussions with the David Nucifora at the IRFU.

For instance, Foley has had to contend with the long-game in behind Paul O'Connell, Donnacha Ryan, Donncha O'Callaghan, Mick O'Driscoll, Ian Nagle and Billy Holland.

Jones can be covered by Denis Hurley, now moved to twelve, and the mercurial JJ Hanrahan.

Even Kilcoyne has to counter the ongoing development of James Cronin at loose-head.

Clearly, coach Anthony Foley feels there is so much more to come from Archer as a natural competitor, not just for Munster, but Ireland too.