Joe Schmidt and Ireland may have moved on from Simon Zebo as soon as he announced his upcoming move to France at the end of this season, but Munster haven't had that luxury. As the business end of the club season comes around, the anxiety among Munster fans about Zebo's imminent departure grows.
Replacing a one-of-a-kind player like Zebo was never going to be easy for Munster, and it was probably never going to be a single like-for-like player. Today, some certainty has finally been added to an uncertain situation. The province have announced the signing of Sale Sharks' full-back Mike Haley on a three year contract from the start of next season.
Haley, who is Irish qualified thanks to his maternal grandmother, has already made over 100 Premiership appearances for Sale and is just 23 years old.
Munster coach Johann van Graan commented on the signing.
We are delighted to recruit an exciting young playmaker such as Mike. Although only 23, he has over six years of professional rugby under his belt and will be a great addition to our squad.
Haley, who has played for the England Saxons in the past, marks Munster's second signing for next season, having already announced a deal to bring the Scarlets' Tadhg Beirne back to Ireland.