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Bleyendaal joins Garryowen as McGrath extends his Ulster stay

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Munster out-half Tyler Bleyendaal has joined Garryowen as backs coach until the end of the season. Photo: Ramsey Cardy/Sportsfile

Munster out-half Tyler Bleyendaal has joined Garryowen as backs coach until the end of the season. Photo: Ramsey Cardy/Sportsfile

SPORTSFILE

Munster out-half Tyler Bleyendaal has joined Garryowen as backs coach until the end of the season. Photo: Ramsey Cardy/Sportsfile

Munster out-half Tyler Bleyendaal has joined All-Ireland League side Garryowen as backs coach until the end of the season.

The Kiwi, who is currently sidelined with a neck injury, is a highly-regarded figure in the Munster dressing room. He will lend his support to Garryowen, who are in second place in Division 1A of the AIL.

Bleyendaal has missed a lot of game time since joining Munster in 2015, but has remained a key voice behind the scenes and his contribution is valued by players and coaches.

The 29-year-old is seen as a future full-time coach and Munster are keen to keep him in their system regardless of what happens as a result of his latest absence due to a troublesome neck issue.

Extension

Former New Zealand U-20 captain Bleyendaal signed a contract extension with Munster last year which runs until the end of next season.

Johann van Graan still hopes he can return to action, but Munster are believed to be lining Bleyendaal up for a future role within their coaching set-up, much like Felix Jones after he was forced to retire prematurely as a player.

Bleyendaal has scored 377 points in his 62 appearances since he joined the province, but he has only played seven times this season, the last of which came against the Ospreys last November.

Meanwhile, Ireland prop Jack McGrath has signed a two-year contract extension with Ulster. The 30-year-old joined from Leinster last summer and has made a big impact in his first season.

"It's a fantastic set-up in terms of the players, coaches and support staff that I get to work alongside everyday," McGrath said.

Irish Independent