2013 The Rugby Championship: South Africa v New Zealand

Rumours have emerged in the Irish press today that Munster are potentially eyeing up an All Blacks World Cup winning centre to replace the departing JJ Hanrahan.

It has been suggested that the Irish province are contemplating a move for All Blacks star Ben Smith after the World Cup.

It seems however that a more realistic target for Munster will be Australia’s Rob Horne, the 25 times capped Waratahs man, who is believed to be their primary focus.

Hanrahan agreed a move to the English champions Northampton Saints earlier this week after finding his opportunities at Munster limited by Ian Keatley.


Saints coach Jim Mallinder suggested that a lack of first-team opportunities was the reason behind Hanrahan’s move.

“He has not been played as regularly as he’s wanted to out there this season, he wanted a bit of a change to hopefully develop his game,” he said.

“We need some strength in depth, JJ will come in and be a real option for us.

“He’s an exciting young player, who has played a number of times for Munster in a lot of top-class games. He’s a very good goalkicker, he’s been playing at inside-centre a fair bit so we think he’ll be brilliant for us here.

“We’ve got Stephen Myler, who is playing fantastically well, guiding the team at this moment, but we need a little bit of back-up in that area. We need somebody to push through and I’m sure JJ will do that.”