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Another Munster Signing From Leinster.

9th March 2007 By Munster Rugby

Leinster flanker Niall Ronan was agreed terms that will see him join Munster at the end of the current season.

Leinster flanker Niall Ronan was agreed terms that will see him join Munster at the end of the current season.

Ronan, a  former Ireland Youth/Under19 and Under 21 international has been capped 47 times by Leinster having made his debut for them in the Celtic League game against Newport Gwent Dragons at Rodney Parade in February 2004.

Speaking today about his impending move, the 24 year old said, " Look, I can’t say it was a hard decision to make.  I had four enjoyable years with Leinster and was getting three or four starts each season. But at the end of the day I want to try progress my career so when the chance of playing with Munster came up I just couldn’t turn it down.

"I know some of the lads, played with Barry Murphy and Eugene McGovern at Under 21s and with Stephen Keogh who’s with Leinster now. So I think I know what they’re about. They’re good people and I’m really looking forward to the move to be honest."

"They’re a passionate lot and they’re passionate players and that’s a big incentive. Then their fans are the best in the world and to play in front of them will be a privilege. Plus I worked with Declan Kidney when he was here and he would one of the reasons I signed."

A Meath minor Gaelic footballer for two years, he came from the same club (Boyne RFC) that produced Shane Horgan and Mark McHugh and like both, Ronan’s representative path began with Leinster and then Ireland Youths. He made his international debut in the 4 Nations Youth Championship game against Wales in Skerries RFC, (April 2000) and played in the subsequent games against Scotland (Greystones RFC) and England in Lansdowne Road.

The following season along with Eugene McGovern he travelled to Santiago in Chile for the IRB/FIRA U19 World Championship. He won his first U19 cap off the bench in the opener against Uruguay but retained his place in the following games against Chile and Scotland.

The first of ten Under 21 caps arrived in the 2003 Six Nations game against Scotland in Dundee alongside soon to be Munster colleague Barry Murphy and future internationals Tommy Bowe and Rory Best. A regular in the side that season, starting in all five games – with Keogh as captain – Ireland only loss was to eventual champions Wales (beaten 20-19 in Ebbw Vale).

In June of that year (2003), Ronan, came off the bench in the opening World Cup game against South Africa to win his sixth U21 cap and just as he had done on his U19 debut, the Meathman made the most of his opportunity to hold onto the number 7 shirt for the remaining games against Scotland, Argentina, Japan and Italy.

 

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