Munster linked with Flutey
MUNSTER winger Doug Howlett's return to New Zealand is expected to be confirmed over the next few days and the team have been linked with England and Lions centre Riki Flutey as they seek a high-profile replacement for departing South African Jean de Villiers, WRITES HUGH FARRELLY.
New Zealand-born Flutey signed a two-year deal with Brive last year but is said to be unhappy with the French club, where he has had to deal with injury, club upheaval and poor results. The fact that Brive released Flutey's fellow England international Andy Goode from his contract this week to allow the out-half switch to the Natal Sharks suggests they might do the same with Flutey in the right circumstances.
Meanwhile, a clutch of clubs from England and France are in a battle to secure the signature of Peter Stringer, whose Munster contract expires at the end of this season. The 32-year-old has lost out to Tomas O'Leary in recent seasons, for club and country.
All Blacks winger Howlett has been a huge success since joining Munster midway through the 2007/'08 season. Munster have recently signed Ireland Wolfhounds international Johne Murphy from Leicester Tigers.