Friday 18 October 2019

Munster line up sensational swoop for Connacht duo

Ultan Dillane. Photo: Sportsfile
Ultan Dillane. Photo: Sportsfile
Ruaidhri O'Connor

Ruaidhri O'Connor

Munster are lining up a double-raid on Pro12 champions Connacht as Rassie Erasmus looks to strengthen his squad for next season.

Ultan Dillane has been identified as a major target as the Reds look to improve their pack by luring the Tralee native back to his home province.

He is understood to be open to the idea of a move after his breakthrough season last year saw him win five caps for Ireland and star for the Westerners in their league triumph.

Munster are also understood to be chasing Dillane's team-mate Bundee Aki, who is out of contract at the end of the season and attracting interest from a host of clubs in England, France and New Zealand.

Aki will be Irish-qualified this time next year, which means his value to the provinces is increased, but the superb performances of the centre mean the Reds will face stiff competition for his signature.

The news comes on the back of Connacht's winless start to the season after they lost three key members of their league-winning side over the summer in Robbie Henshaw, Aly Muldowney and AJ MacGinty.

They received a further blow yesterday with the news that Ireland prop Nathan White has had to retire as a result of the concussive injury he suffered against Leinster in March.

Munster are also believed to be after Grenoble's former Ulster centre Chris Farrell, who has been a regular for Bernard Jackman's side in recent seasons.

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The 6ft 4ins midfielder (23) is understood to have held talks with the province with a view to a move next summer.

Meanwhile, Ireland out-half Paddy Jackson is being linked with a move to Northampton Saints.

The Ulster No 10 is out of contract at the end of the season, but is likely to remain with his home province if a deal can be reached with the IRFU.

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