Cronin, Sherry sign Munster extensions

Date published: January 14 2016

Munster and the IRFU have confirmed that prop James Cronin and hooker Mike Sherry have signed contract extensions with the province.

Cronin, who had been linked with London Irish, has signed a three-year contract extension that will see the Ballincollig native remain with the province until at least June 2019.

A product of the Munster clubs Cronin completed two years of the academy programme before securing a senior contract in 2013 and has made 54 appearances for the province, scoring five tries.

After making his league debut as an academy player against Leinster in Thomond Park in April 2013 a month later James was awarded the Munster Rugby Academy Player of the Year. 

During the 2013/14 season the Cork-man exploded on to the scene making 26 appearances including a European debut against Edinburgh in Murrayfield in October 2013. Cronin featured in seven of Munster's eight European Cup games during the campaign.

Deservedly a call-up to Ireland followed and the loosehead prop joined the tour to Argentina in June 2014 winning his first of two Ireland caps. The 25-year-old was part of the Emerging Ireland squad that won the 2015 Tblisi Cup in Georgia. 

Mike Sherry has signed a two-year contract extension that will see him remain with Munster until at least June 2018.

The 27-year-old has made 82 appearances for the province, scoring 8 tries.

As a first year academy player Sherry made his Munster debut against Connacht in Thomond Park in December 2009. The Limerick-man went on to make his European debut against Toulon at Stade Mayol in January 2011.

On the international front Mike made his Ireland debut against USA on the summer tour in June 2013 and has made two Ireland Wolfhounds appearances.

Sidelined for 21 months the hooker underwent an extended period of rehabilitation and recovery due to an initial knee injury and recurring shoulder issues that ruled him out until the start of the 2015/16 season. 

On returning to his previous form Sherry has made 11 appearances and scored three tries already this season.

Commenting on the latest contract signings head coach Anthony Foley said, "We are delighted with the latest news, and as a group are hugely lifted with three of our home-grown players committing their futures to the province. 

"James and Mike have shown what they are capable of time and time again and they both have a massive part to play in this squad's progression. 

"Both are products of our under-age set up at club and school level respectively and they represent the hard work that is being done at grassroots and academy level each week.

"Similarly, David, who is now breaking through has followed the same pathway and we look forward to seeing his growth over the coming years."

In other Munster news, following the results of a scan taken earlier this week, it has been confirmed that BJ Botha ruptured his anterior cruciate ligament.

The South African international sustained the injury during last Saturday's Champions Cup encounter against Stade Français and is expected to undergo surgery in the next few weeks. 

The tighthead prop has been ruled out for the foreseeable future.