Peter O’Mahony and Conor Murray offered contracts by Munster and Ireland

Extensions advanced to the pair will predominantly be Munster deals with the IRFU topping up those salaries

Ireland captain Peter O’Mahony and scrumhalf Conor Murray have been offered new contracts to stay with Munster and Ireland beyond this season.

Reports emerged on Thursday afternoon that the pair had been offered new contracts and sources have confirmed the news to The Irish Times. Both are playing on IRFU central contracts which will expire at the end of the current season.

It is understood that the offers made to the pair will predominantly be Munster deals with the IRFU topping up the salaries. Munster declined to comment when approached.

It is unclear at this stage how long these new contracts would run, though a multiyear arrangement has not been ruled out. With both players in the Six Nations camp, no agreement has yet been reached and it is not expected that any confirmation, should either player accept the offer, will come until after the current international window.


O’Mahony, aged 34, was previously told that he would not be offered a new IRFU central contract once his current deal expired at the end of the season. It was therefore down to Munster to decide if they wanted to offer a provincial contract to their captain, but negotiations were slow to get off the ground with The Irish Times reporting in January that an offer had yet to be made.

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Shortly after it emerged that O’Mahony’s future beyond this season was in doubt, it was announced that the backrow would captain Ireland during the ongoing Six Nations.

Before Christmas, O’Mahony stepped down as captain of his province, with Munster yet to name a permanent successor. The player made his provincial return following the World Cup in a game against the Stormers, only for injury to rule him out until the province’s Champions Cup clash with Toulon early in the new year.

During O’Mahony’s absence, Tom Ahern shifted from lock to blindside flanker and was widely praised for his contributions during that run.

Similarly, it was widely expected that Murray, also aged 34, would not play on a central contract beyond this season. Munster’s scrumhalf depth is not as strong as in the back row, with Craig Casey being Murray’s main competition. Paddy Patterson has had injury problems this season while academy scrumhalf Ethan Coughlan has also featured.

O’Mahony returns to the Ireland starting line-up this weekend against Wales having missed out on the Italy fixture, while Murray is on the bench.

Nathan Johns

Nathan Johns

Nathan Johns is an Irish Times journalist