Northampton hopeful of keeping JJ Hanrahan despite Munster interest

Hanrahan's contract expires in the summer

Northampton hopeful of keeping JJ Hanrahan despite Munster interest

Picture by Joe Giddens PA Archive/PA Images

Northampton Saints remain hopeful of keeping JJ Hanrahan at the club next season.

The Kerry native is in the final season of his contract with the club. Earlier this week, reports claimed the fly-half was preparing to rejoin Munster, after leaving at the end of the 2014-15 season.

Ahead of Northampton's Champions Cup match with Leinster this weekend, their head coach Jim Mallinder said he was hopeful of keeping Hanrahan at Franklin's Gardens next season.

Speaking to the Northamptonshire Telegraph, Mallinder said the Kerry native was one of a group of players the club were hoping would re-sign.

"We’re still talking with him and a number of other members of our squad in terms of what we and they want to do."

Hanrahan has yet to play a full international for Ireland, despite his talent. He was nominated in 2012 for the IRB's Junior Player of the Year award but lost to South Africa's Jan Serfontein.

Despite impressing last season, he has struggled in his second season with Northampton. Last weekend, he started at inside centre against Leinster, in what was only his second appearance of the season.

If he is to return to Munster next season, Hanrahan will battle it out with Tyler Bleyendaal and Ian Keatley for the famous number ten jersey.