Munster Veteran and 47 cap Irish forward Donnacha Ryan to play for Racing 92 next year.
On March 25th the Irish Examiner announced that following this season for Munster, Donnacha Ryan plans to play abroad for Racing next season. The announcement of the 13 year veteran for Munster’s decision to pull up stakes and play abroad was sudden. Over the next two days, details came out that the IRFU had passed on renewing Ryan’s Ireland contract. At 33 and no possibility to continue his international career, he made the decision to sign with Racing 92.
The area of concern for the IRFU was Ryan’s age. At 33 years old Ryan has a limited time left to be able to wear his national colors. He is arguably Ireland’s best second row, having given a tremendous performance during this years Six Nations. His performance made the IRFU’s decision very unpopular with Irish fans. Fans took to Twitter to voice their discontent with the decision.
Jamie Heaslip is only 4 days younger then Donnacha Ryan yet gets a new contract.. seems like Leinster bias yet again
— Seán Ryan (@Sean_Ryan_1995) March 27, 2017
Ireland’s loss is Racing’s gain
Regardless of how you feel about the decision from Ireland, no one can mistake the benefit he can bring Racing. With his strength and power Ryan will be a great addition to the Racing second row. With rumors circulating that Leone Nakarawa will not be returning to Paris next year, an all star number 5 is essential. Donnacha Ryan will definitely be able to fill that void should Nakarawa leave. Racing’s decision to grab Ryan while they could was a large improvement to the ‘now dead’ merger plan with Stade Francais.
Announcement Comes After Some Good Results for Racing
This announment of the international lock signing with Racing comes on the heals of arguably their best performance of the season. Following a tough winter with controversy over bad decision Racing found themselves in 9th place. The Racing 92 performance against Clermont was a drastic improvement from what fans have been seeing all year. It would seem that with only 4 matches remaining, Racing are looking for one of those final spots in the playoffs.
Racing currently sit only 3 points out of the playoffs and 4 points from 4th place. A strong performance could land Racing back in the playoffs and the Champions Cup next year.