Ireland stars staying with Munster

Date published: December 2 2014

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Munster have announced that Stephen Archer, Dave Foley, Felix Jones and Dave Kilcoyne have all signed contract extensions.

Munster have announced that Stephen Archer, Dave Foley, Felix Jones and Dave Kilcoyne have all signed contract extensions with the province and the IRFU.

Tighthead prop Archer has signed a three-year contract while Dave Foley, Felix Jones and Dave Kilcoyne have all signed two-year extensions that will see them remain with the province until at least June 2017.

Archer, Foley and Kilcoyne are all products of the Munster Rugby Academy while Jones has been with the province since 2009, and all four players have progressed through to international level.

Cork-born Archer made his debut against Edinburgh in October 2009 as an academy player and has made 79 appearances for the province. The 26-year-old moved to a full senior contract at the start of the 2011/2012 season and went on to make his European debut against Castres in January 2012.

Just over a year later he made his Ireland debut against Italy during the 2013 6 Nations and has two international caps. This season he has featured in all but one of Munster’s games.

Fellow academy graduate Foley was also promoted to a full senior contract at the start of the 2011/2012 season and has made 44 Munster appearances.

The Tipperary-lock made his debut against Connacht in May 2010 at the Sportsground, and only made his European debut at the beginning of this year when starting against Gloucester in Kingsholm. He went on to cement his starting place in the second row and played in 20 of Munster’s games last season.

After impressing at provincial and Emerging Ireland level the 26-year-old was propelled into the Ireland squad in November and produced a man-of-the-match debut performance against Georgia, and featured off the bench against Australia a week later.

Dublin-born Jones joined Munster in 2009 after completing two years in the Leinster academy and made his debut that September against Glasgow Warriors in Firhill.

The full-back made his European debut against Ulster in April 2012 in Thomond Park and has made 72 appearances for the province. This year he captained the side for the first time away to Treviso in the Pro12.

With nine Ireland caps Jones made his debut against Scotland in the pre-World Cup games in August 2011 and the 27-year-old most recently scored his first international try against Georgia in the November Test.

Loosehead prop Dave Kilcoyne moved to a full senior contract at the start of the 2012/13 season and has 62 Munster caps to his name.

The Limerick-native made his debut against Connacht in December 2011 and made his first European appearance starting against Racing Metro in October 2012 at Stade de France. The 25-year-old had an impressive 2013/2014 season playing in 30 of Munster’s 31 games and was named in the Pro12 Dream Team that season.

At national level he has 12 caps after making his debut against South Africa in the 2012 November Tests and last month he scored his first international try against Georgia.

“This is a great step forward for us,” said head coach Anthony Foley.

“Securing players of this calibre is always a boost for the club and it shows our commitment to developing home-grown players and talent. These guys have come through the structures and have reached international level with so much more to come, and it’s hugely positive for all involved.”

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