The Irish Independent have a pretty sweet exclusive from a Munster fan's point of view in this morning's paper: JJ Hanrahan is believed to be on the verge of returning to Munster from Northampton.
Should he come back to Thomond from next season, it will offer Munster remarkable depth at out-half: Tyler Blyendaal is belatedly showing his worth, while Ian Keatley offers reliable back-up.
But the good news may not end there. The same report states that centre Jaco Taute, signed as emergency cover for an injured Francis Saili, may be extending his stay at the province beyond the rest of the season. Taute scored two tries in the 38-0 shellacking of Leicester Tigers on Saturday, and Rassie Erasmus has admitted that he is keen to hang on to Taute beyond the expiration of his four-month contract:
We don't want to get a player here that blocks the development of young Irish players but then you look at a guy like Rory Scannell sitting next to Jaco and the way he's developing and a guy like Sam Arnold experiencing that. You know, it would be great to keep him, and surely I am thinking about that.
Erasmus' wish may just be about to become a reality, as the Indo's report claims that the IRFU may allow Taute to extend his contract with Munster to the end of the season. Discussions are ongoing, say the paper, but the IRFU are believed to be open to extending Taute's contract.
Erasmus has stressed that Taute is helping the development of young Irish players, rather than hindering it:
Francis Saili will be ready probably against Leinster [on St Stephen's Day] but if there is a real case for Jaco staying here, helping and developing young backline players into Irish internationals, because there is no doubt that he is performing on and off the field helping guys around him.