Munster trio sign extensions

Date published: December 30 2015

Munster and the IRFU have confirm that Robin Copeland and Dave O'Callaghan have both signed two-year contract extensions with the province, while Greencore Academy player Rory Scannell has signed a senior contract.

The back row duo of Robin Copeland and Dave O'Callaghan have signed two-year contract extensions that will see them remain with Munster until at least June 2018, while Rory Scannell will be promoted from the academy ranks to a development contract at the start of the 2016/17 season and will advance to a full contract for season 2017/18.

Wexford native Copeland joined Munster at the start of the 2014/15 season and has gone on to make 24 appearances, scoring six tries. The 28-year-old made his PRO12 debut against Benetton Treviso at the Stadio Monigo in September 2014 and a month later went on to make his European debut against Saracens in Thomond Park.

On the international front Copeland represented the Ireland Wolfhounds against England Saxons in January 2014 and later that year played in Emerging Ireland's Nations Cup winning campaign in Romania where the back row was awarded Player of the Tournament.

Dave O'Callaghan, a product of the Munster Rugby Academy, has made 52 appearances for the province after making his PRO12 debut against Ospreys in Thomond Park in October 2011. The Youghal native completed his academy programme by claiming the Academy Player of the Year award in May 2012 after he made ten competitive appearances in his final year including his first European Cup appearance against Northampton Saints in Thomond Park.

The 25-year-old represented the Ireland U20s in two Junior World Championships and featured for Emerging Ireland in the 2013 Tbilisi Cup in Georgia.

O'Callaghan, who has started in ten games so far this season, is currently rehabbing an adductor injury he sustained against Leicester in round four of the Champions Cup and is expected to be side-lined for approximately five weeks.

Academy player Rory Scannell is in his final year of the programme but has already made an impression in the senior ranks after starting on his PRO12 debut against Cardiff Blues at the Arms Park in October 2014. Playing in the centre and at out-half the recently turned 22-year-old has made 14 appearances for the province, making his Champions Cup debut in October against Treviso in Thomond Park.

A former Ireland U20s player, a run of good form last season for Munster and Munster 'A' led to the Dolphin player being selected for the Emerging Ireland squad that won the Tblisi Cup in Georgia in June 2015.

Younger brother of hooker Niall, the Scannell brothers became the first brothers to start a league game for the province when taking on Newport Gwent Dragons in Rodney Parade in December.

Commenting on the latest contract news head coach Anthony Foley said, "It is great to have Robin, Dave and Rory commit to the province. Each player has their own individual attributes and are all valuable members of this squad.

With Robin and Dave we are maintaining the services of two hugely physical players that each bring different skill-sets to our overall game. In addition to this, both players have proven their versatility over the years in playing across the back row and at lock so we are delighted to have players of their calibre in the squad.

Similar to Dave we are fortunate to have further home-grown talent like Rory make their way up through the ranks. For a young guy who has been playing at the next level for over a year now we are looking forward to seeing Rory's contribution develop into the future."