Two of Ireland's U20 Six Nations winners are among the four players added to the Munster Academy for next season.
Jake Flannery, from Bansha, Co Tipperary, and John Hodnett, from Rosscarbery, Co Cork, will enter the Academy for the 2019/20 season.
Flannery, who plays for Shannon, was one of only two players to start all ten games in the Six Nations and U20 World Cup, either at out-half or full-back.
UCC back-rower Hodnett, an ever-present during the Six Nations, had his time in Argentina cut short by a knee injury.
Ireland U19 second-rowers Paddy Kelly (Young Munster) and Eoin O’Connor (Waterpark) are the other two to join this summer.
Four Academy players have already been promoted to the senior ranks this summer: Gavin Coombes (back-row forward/ Young Munster), Shane Daly (centre/ Cork Constitution), Sean O’Connor (lock/ Garryowen), and Craig Casey (scrum-half/ Shannon).
UL Bohs full-back James McCarthy was released at the end of last season.
Year 3: Liam Coombes (back three/Garryowen), Keynan Knox (prop/Young Munster), Alex McHenry (centre/Cork Constitution), Jack O’Sullivan (back-row forward/UCC), Jack Stafford (scrum-half/Shannon), Alan Tynan (full-back/Young Munster).
Year 2: Thomas Ahern (lock/Shannon), Diarmuid Barron (hooker/Garryowen), Jack Daly (back-row forward/Garryowen), Ben Healy (out-half/Garryowen), James French (prop/UCC), Seán French (centre/Cork Constitution), Eoghan Clarke (hooker/Shannon), Jonathan Wren (back three/Cork Constitution), Josh Wycherley (prop/Young Munster).
Year 1: Jake Flannery (out-half/full-back/Shannon), John Hodnett (back-row forward/UCC), Paddy Kelly (lock/Young Munster), Eoin O’Connor (lock/Waterpark RFC).
Jake Flannery – Out-half/Full-back
20-year-old Jake Flannery started his rugby career at Kilfeacle & District RFC before progressing to schools rugby at Rockwell College.
From Tipperary, Flannery was one of the standout performers for the Grand Slam-winning Ireland U20s this year and also featured prominently in this summer’s World Rugby U20 Championship.
Now a student at UL, Flannery earned maximum points in his Leaving Cert in 2018 and also made his Munster A debut in the Celtic Cup and his All Ireland League debut with Shannon RFC last season.
John Hodnett – Back-row forward
20-year-old John Hodnett is a product of Clonakilty RFC.
From Cork, Hodnett was another standout performer for the Grand Slam-winning Ireland U20s in the 6 Nations and World Rugby U20 Championship.
Hodnett studies at UCC and plays his All Ireland League rugby for the College and made five appearances for Munster A in the Celtic Cup last season.
Paddy Kelly – Lock
19-year-old Paddy Kelly is a product of St Munchin’s College and played in the Clayton Hotels Munster Schools Junior and Senior Cups.
Kelly played his club rugby at Young Munster last season and has represented the Ireland U18 Clubs and Schools and the Ireland U19s along with being named in the extended Ireland U20s squad for this year’s 6 Nations.
A student at UL, the Limerick native made his Munster A debut last season and also toured with the side to the USA for the Cara Cup.
Eoin O’Connor – Lock
18-year-old Eoin O’Connor is a product of Waterpark RFC and played in the Munster Junior League with the club last season while a sixth year student.
The Waterford native has represented Munster and Ireland at both U18 and U19 level.
O’Connor was a try-scorer on his first appearance for Munster A in January’s Challenge match victory over Leinster at Thomond Park.