DONNACHA RYAN IS set to earn around €300,000 per season on a two-year contract with French club Racing 92, beginning this summer.
The 33-year-old’s exit from Munster was first reported by the Irish Examiner on Saturday morning.
The42 understands that Ryan’s contract with the Top 14 club will see him earn in the region of €600,000 over the course of the two-year deal.
Ryan had a superb Six Nations for Ireland. Source: Billy Stickland/INPHO
The Tipperary man is coming to the end of a central IRFU contract and with the union unwilling to offer him an extension of that deal, Ryan was facing the prospect of taking a hefty salary cut if he was to remain with Munster on a provincial contract.
It’s understood that Ryan had hoped to remain with his native province into next season, not committing when Racing first showed their interest in recent months, but the financial reality of the situation complicated matters.
Playing the best rugby of his career, Ryan has been an important figure for Ireland this season, helping them to beat the All Blacks for the first time ever and being one of their best performers during the Six Nations.
However, he is now set to exit Irish rugby at the end of the current campaign as he takes up Racing’s strong offer and moves to Paris to link up with former Munster team-mate Ronan O’Gara.
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The move is set to be a heavy blow to Munster, where Ryan has also been playing superb rugby and is now an important leader in Rassie Erasmus’ squad.
Providing further concern for Munster are renewed suggestions from South Africa that the South African Rugby Union is making a strong bid to bring Erasmus home this summer.
Erasmus has previously stressed his happiness in Ireland and it would be a major shock to the province if he was to leave Munster this early in a three-year contract.
Munster’s director of rugby is set to speak to the media this afternoon at the province’s high performance centre, when it is expected that more clarity around his future will be provided.
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