Sunday 10 December 2017

Francis Saili set for Munster exit door as province aim to keep Jaco Taute


Munster's Francis Saili. Photo: Sportsfile
Munster's Francis Saili. Photo: Sportsfile
Cian Tracey

Cian Tracey

Munster are set to lose Francis Saili next season but hopes are growing that Jaco Taute will remain with the province.

The Irish Independent understands that several English clubs are interested in signing the All Black centre but Harlequins lead the chase for Saili who is out of contract at the end of the season.

Harlequins are keen to find a replacement for Welsh international Jamie Roberts as he is likely to leave the Premiership side next month.

Saili's departure will pave the way for Munster to step up their intention to keep Taute. The South African was initially signed as injury cover for Saili but the IRFU granted Munster permission to keep Taute until the end of the season.

However, the union did stress that Munster could only keep one of their non-Irish-qualified (NIQ) midfielders next year and the province are keen to ensure that Taute remains in Ireland.

Neither deal has been finalised yet and although Taute (26) is contracted to the Stormers until the end of the year, Munster are quietly confident of reaching an agreement with the Super Rugby side.

Taute, a crowd favourite, has made a huge impact since he joined Munster last September and should he prolong his stay, it would be a significant boost for Rassie Erasmus' men.

Irish Independent

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