Lock Tadhg Beirne to join Munster next summer from Scarlets
Scarlets lock Tadhg Beirne will join Munster next summer in a bid to realise his Test rugby dreams with Ireland.
The 25-year-old helped the Scarlets lift the Guinness PRO12 title last term, having left Leinster in 2016.
The Ireland Under-20s cap forged a pivotal part of the Scarlets' league triumph, and has now earned himself a move back to his home country.
Irish players know they face an uphill struggle to break into head coach Joe Schmidt's Test squad when based abroad, so Beirne's Munster switch ought to boost his chances.
"Munster Rugby and the IRFU can today confirm that Tadhg Beirne will join the province at the start of the 2018/19 season on a two-year contract," Munster announced in a statement.
"The 25-year-old lock will make the move from Scarlets where he has made 29 competitive appearances to date after making the switch from Leinster at the start of the 2016/17 season."
Scarlets head coach Wayne Pivac admitted the Welsh region will be disappointed to lose Beirne, but appreciates the reasons behind his move.
"We are disappointed to lose such a quality player and quality person from the group but fully understand that Tadhg has aspirations to play for Ireland,"said Pivac.
"He's developed well in the last 14 months as a player and we've seen the benefits of all the hard work he's put in since joining the Scarlets.
"Tadhg's fully focused and committed to continuing his rich vein of form for the remainder of the season."