Northampton Saints has today announced that JJ Hanrahan will be joining the club ahead of the 2015/16 season.
The 22-year-old back is regarded as one of the best young players to have come through the Munster Academy system for many years, and was short-listed for Junior World Player of the Year after spearheading Ireland Under-20s’ charge to fifth place in the 2012 Junior World Championships.
His Pro 12 and Heineken Cup debuts followed later in 2012, and Kerry-born Hanrahan has now played 51 times for Munster in all competitions, scoring 229 points across domestic and European competition.
The last year has seen Hanrahan’s career continue to develop positively, and as well as winning the Pro 12’s Golden Boot as the competition’s most accurate kicker last season he took home the 2014 Munster Young Player of the Year award, recognition for contributions that included a late match-winning Heineken Cup try in Perpignan, kicking 10 goals out of 10 in the province’s record win over Cardiff Blues, and man of the match awards in successive matches against Zebre and Glasgow.
Hanrahan has also taken the step up from Under-20s to Emerging Ireland, who he helped win the IRB Nations Cup last summer.
Saints director of rugby Jim Mallinder is excited by the signing.
"JJ is a tremendous prospect," he said. "He has consistently shown that he has the ability to compete at the highest level of club rugby.
"But while we are looking forward to having JJ join us in the summer we are particularly excited about seeing him develop over the coming years at Franklin’s Gardens."
Hanrahan is excited by the challenge facing him at Franklin’s Gardens.
"I’m excited by the challenge that awaits me at Northampton Saints and I hope that I can help continue the Club's recent successes in England and to challenge for European honours," he said. "I was hugely impressed by the setup at Franklin’s Gardens. Like Munster, Northampton is a club that has a proud history, great structures and a passionate local supporter base. I am really looking forward to testing myself in a new environment.
"I have had nothing but positive experiences at Munster. It is my home club and running out in the red jersey has been and remains a great privilege. The coaching staff, from the Academy through to the senior coaches, have been brilliant with me since I entered the Academy. I remain fully committed to the Munster cause in the Pro 12 and the European Champions Cup for the remainder of the season."