Haley leaves Sale for Munster in pursuit of international stage

By Adam Ellis

Munster and the IRFU have announced the signing of Sale Sharks full-back Mike Haley on a three-year contract, as reported by Neil Fissler in TRP.

The 23-year-old was born in Preston and had harboured hopes of playing for England but has now turned his focus to Ireland, who he qualifies for through his maternal grandmother.

Reluctant to let the full-back leave, Sale director of rugby Steve Diamond conceded: “It has been a really difficult decision to let Mike go with us having brought him through from being a teenager and with Mike having a year left on his contract with the club.

“However, he has aspirations to play international rugby with Ireland and we really didn’t want to stand in his way.”

Haley moves to Thomond Park having made 105 appearances for the Premiership outfit since emerging into the fringes of the first-team back in 2012. The former England Saxon revealed it was an chance too good to turn down.

“Obviously it was a very, very difficult decision,” Haley admitted, “I’ve spent many happy years here at Sale but after lots of careful thought I just felt that it was a once in a lifetime opportunity I had to take.

“I have a strong family connections with Munster and used to go there all the time when I was younger and being eligible to play for Ireland was another big factor.”

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