Rugby transfers and rumours: Ireland legend’s new deal, Springbok snub on the move, Pumas stars re-sign and more

Jared Wright
Ireland's Conor Murray, Stormers' Hacjivah Dayimani and Argentina's Juan Martin Gonzalez.

Ireland's Conor Murray, Stormers' Hacjivah Dayimani and Argentina's Juan Martin Gonzalez.

There has been plenty of movement on the transfer market this week as an Ireland legend secures a new deal, Ulster signed a SA Rugby star, Los Pumas duo penned new deals in the Premiership and much more.

We recap some of the top transfers and rumours.

Conor Murray pens new Munster deal, Peter O’Mahony’s future unclear

Munster and Ireland legends Conor Murray and Peter O’Mahony are entering the twilights of their career and in the final year of their respective contracts.

According to an Irish Times report, Murray has signed a one-year extension with Munster and the IRFU.

The scrum-half is currently on a national contract, and while the IRFU supplements all provincial contracts, he has been offered a reduced deal, with Munster picking up most of the tab and the union assisting the province in offering a reduced package.

The 34-year-old is now set to finish his career at the only club that he has represented throughout his career. The report adds that the IRFU are also set to supplement an offer for O’Mahony but that the current Ireland captain’s position is less certain.

Werner Kok joins Ulster

Staying with the United Rugby Championship and Ulster have announced the signing of livewire Sharks winger Werner Kok.

The powerful ex-World Rugby Sevens Player of the Year will join the province on a two-year deal in the summer. The destructive and dynamic back is renowned for his work-rate and all-action play.

The 31-year-old made the permanent shift to the XVs game in 2020 with the Sharks after a glittering sevens career where he won several honours, including a 2014 Commonwealth Games Gold and a bronze medal at the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio.

Hacjivah Dayimani courted by Japanese and French clubs

Stormers star Hacjivah Dayimani could be leaving Cape Town at the end of the season, with French and Japanese clubs reportedly interested in his services.

According to a report by News24, the Stormers star wants to leave the club after being snubbed for the recent Springboks alignment camp while he has lucrative offers on the table from abroad.

The report adds that team-mates Nama Xaba and Junior Pokomela are also in talks over potential exits.

Northampton Saints extensions

Northampton Saints announced a pair of re-signings this week with the Premiership side with centre Rory Hutchinson and Elliot Millar-Mills extending their contracts.

Hutchinson was the subject of interest from multiple Top 14 clubs, notably Bayonne, but the 28-year-old Saints Academy product has opted to remain at the side that he has played exactly 150 games for.

Ex-NFL hopeful and England wing to replace Louis Rees-Zammitt at Gloucester

The Scottish international is currently part of the Scotland Six Nations squad and has been a standout for the table-topping Saints this season.

“Northampton is my home club,” he said. “I’ve been here ten seasons now, growing up and playing alongside a lot of the boys in the current squad, and it feels good to have worked my way up here – I would never have thought I would make it to 150 games for Saints.”

Fellow international Millar-Mills has also penned a new contract after 16 appearances for the side. The 31-year-old prop arrived in Northampton on a trial basis towards the end of the 2022/23 campaign and signed a full-time contract soon after. The ex-Edinburgh, Bath, and Barbarians forward started the campaign with Wasps before the club went into administration.

He is one of the Saints stars who has been rewarded on the Test scene through his form this season, earning a Scotland debut in February during the Six Nations.

Saracens extend Los Pumas stars contracts

Saracens have announced the re-signings of Argentina internationals Lucio Cinti and Juan Martin Gonzalez.

The pair joined Saracens following the collapse of London Irish and have quickly settled into Mark McCall’s squad, with their commitments a further boost for the side ahead of next season.

Cinti has committed his long-term future to Sarries in a major coup for the club, as his versatility across the back-three and in the midfield will make him a crucial part of the squad for years to come.

Fellow country Gonzalez has also signed a new long-term contract at the club. The 23-year-old has quickly become a favourite at StoneX and has already racked up 31 Test caps for his country.

Rugby transfers and rumours: Sharks add more Springboks, Wales star heads to the Premiership and Tuilagi’s replacement

Hanro Liebenberg among quartet to commit their futures to Leicester Tigers

Fans’ favourite Hanro Liebenberg has renewed his contract with Leicester Tigers, having amassed 100 appearances for the club since arriving from the Bulls in 2019.

The 32-time Tigers captain’s extension came with the news of wing Harry Simmons, prop James Cronin and scrum-half Tom Whiteley penning new contracts.

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