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‘Letting Ben Healy go would be unforgivable’ | The Tight Five

Munster may need to offer Ben Healy a big contract in January if they are going to stop him movin...


‘Letting Ben Healy go would be unforgivable’ | The Tight Five

Munster may need to offer Ben Healy a big contract in January if they are going to stop him moving to Scotland, according to OTB Sports’ Neil Treacy.

Healy’s future and the potential link to the Glasgow Warriors has been gaining increased media attention after Danny Cipriani announced that he was leaving Gloucester on Tuesday.

Speaking on OTB AM on Wednesday, Treacy suggested that the bombshell, at least for Irish fans, of Cipriani’s Gloucester exit has set off a chain reaction that has made the rumours of a Healy exit more realistic.

Ben Healy of Munster is tackled by James Botham, right, and Dimitri Arhip of Cardiff Blues during the Guinness PRO14 match between Munster and Cardiff Blues at Thomond Park in Limerick. Photo by Harry Murphy/Sportsfile

“Danny Cipriani deciding that he wants to leave Gloucester is the chain reaction that [triggers fear in Munster supporters],” Treacy said.

“All this Ben Healy… we all suspected might be a bit of kite flying; an agent trying to do his job in contract season to get a bit onto a potential contract for his client.

“All of a sudden now, the fear is real from Munster fan’s point of view about Ben Healy and his potential move to Glasgow.”

With Cipriani leaving the Cherry and Whites, they had to fill that pen slot, which they did with Glasgow and Scotland out half Adam Hastings.

“To go through that chain reaction yesterday afternoon, Danny Cipriani announces that he was leaving Gloucester with immediate effect,” Treacy said.

“To go through those stories, a lot of people have been suggesting that Gloucester have been in contact maybe with Adam Hasting of the Glasgow Warriors.

“Quick as a flash, within two hours, Gloucester themselves had actually confirmed the news that they had signed Adam Hastings.”

Cipriani’s exit, and the subsequent transfer of Hastings out of Glasgow, brought with them a real plausibility to the link between Healy and Glasgow.

“When that flashed up on your Twitter timeline, straight away what you were thinking wasn’t that it is a brilliant signing,” Treacy said.

“It was, ‘ok, the Glasgow Warriors are losing their first choice out half, while also sniffing around Munster’s bright young prospect Ben Healy.

“So, all of a sudden, things are looking incredible real and live around that transfer and the potential of it.”

Treacy suggested that the Irish Rugby Football Union (IRFU) will need to enter into negotiations with the Tipperary native as soon as possible in an attempt to keep him in the provinces.

“It just means that the IRFU have to get straight into these negotiations in January and they have to make him a decent offer,” Treacy said.

“By all accounts it seems that Glasgow have actually upped their offer again to Ben Healy over the last couple of weeks, knowing that Adam Hastings was going to leave.”

Ben Healy Munster vs Harlequins Ben Healy of Munster is tackled by Will Evans of Harlequins during the Heineken Champions Cup Pool B Round 1 match between Munster and Harlequins at Thomond Park in Limerick. Photo by Sam Barnes/Sportsfile

Munster cannot afford to lose Healy

There is added pressure from Munster to retain the services of the 21-year-old out half, as their current flyhalf stocks are limited.

In particular, as Healy is also qualified for Scotland, there is potential for Ireland to lose a promising successor to Johnny Sexton in the national side.

“I think there would be an enormous backlash from Munster fans, it would be absolutely enormous if Ben Healy would be allowed to leave Ireland and move to the Glasgow Warriors, coming out of an academy deal in the next few months,” Treacy said.

“I think there would be absolute uproar if that was to happen. I think Munster have to put the contract in and keep him.”

Joey Carbery, long considered the natural understudy to Johnny Sexton in the green jersey, has been out for almost a year, with no sign of a return in the near future.

The province’s only other option outside of the academy is JJ Hanrahan, who has struggled to find consistent form and subsequently is battling to keep Healy out of the starting jersey.

“They don’t necessarily know what the long-term future is going to be with Joey Carbery,” Treacy said.

“He hasn’t played in the guts of a year, and he has been prone to injuries in the past. At that stage you are banking on Carbery and JJ Hanrahan as two senior out halves in the squad.

“There has to be a third option there. I know they have other options in the academy, but to let a player with the potential of Ben Healy go would be unforgivable.”

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Ben Healy Danny Cipriani Glasgow Warriors Gloucester Jj Hanrahan Joey Carbery Johnny Sexton Leinster Munster