Key Irish players could be heading abroad
Current Munster captain Pete O’Mahony is reportedly in talks with English and French clubs after rejecting an offer from the IRFU to sign a national contract past the World Cup in 2019.
O’Mahony’s current contract runs out in July.
It has also been reported that one of the French Clubs have offered O’Mahony double the salary of what the IRFU chief negotiator David Nucifora tabled.
According the Irish Times, Stander’s contract negotiations, to move from a provincial to national contract, have stalled as sources said the South African – who qualified for Ireland via residency in 2016 – could almost triple his current salary by moving to a French club.
The 27-year-old’s size and durability make him an even more enticing target for Top 14 clubs than the Munster captain.
With Zebo already announcing his departure, it is a worrying time for new head coach Johann Van Graan and the Munster supporters.
"Pete’s contracted nationally, and between Joe and David I’m sure they’re handling that," was all the 37-year-old could say to the Irishtimes at his first media briefing.
"He’s hugely influential with Ireland and Munster rugby . . . If in any way I can help him stay with Munster I’ll do that. He’s been offered a contract extension with some added benefits and I believe it’s in the interest of Munster rugby and of the IRFU to keep him at Munster and in Ireland,"