IAN KEATLEY’S DEPARTURE from Munster has been brought forward after London Irish moved to secure the services of the out-of-favour out-half on a short-term deal.
Keatley announced earlier this month he would be leaving the southern province for Italian side Benetton at the end of the season, but the 31-year-old will now spend the remainder of the campaign in the English Championship.
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The out-half leaves Munster after eight years. Source: Laszlo Geczo/INPHO
With Theo Brophy-Clews and Stephen Myler both out injured, London Irish head coach Declan Kidney was keen to bring in out-half cover as the Exiles — currently top of the Championship — bid to secure promotion back to the Premiership.
Keatley moves to the Madejski Stadium ahead of his permanent switch to Pro14 outfit Benetton, for whom he signed a contract with at the start of January.
The Dublin-born 10 — capped seven times by Ireland — leaves Munster after eight years in Limerick, during which he scored 1,247 points in 180 appearances for the province.
Keatley leaves the club as the second top points scorer in Munster’s history.
“I just want to say a big thank you to everyone for their support and messages since announcing my move to Treviso, it has been overwhelming hearing from you all,” he said.
“I’m never going to forget the terrific support I got on days in Irish Independent Park and Thomond Park, especially those big European occasions in Limerick which are really special days, and I have fantastic memories for life.
“I’ve experienced great highs and some low lows over my career, with the highs far outweighing the lows, but the support following Axel’s passing is what sums up Munster for me. It’s for that I’m really going to miss this place, it has been special, and it has been true.”