Munster Rugby have confirmed that James Coughlan will leave the province at the end of June. Coughlan is currently contracted to the province until June 2015 but Munster Rugby have accepted the player’s request for an early release from contract and support Coughlan in his decision to move abroad.
“This was a difficult decision for me to make,” said Coughlan. “I was presented with an opportunity that I had to take for myself and my young family as we plan for our future. I want to thank Garrett (Fitzgerald) and the Professional Game Committee for their support in facilitating my request to leave the province.
After playing 139 times for Munster and scoring 13 tries James Coughlan played his final game for the province against Glasgow Warriors in the RaboDirect PRO12 semi-final at Scotstoun Stadium on May 16th.
“Playing for Munster has been a dream come through. I never thought I would have achieved what I have and the whole experience has been life-changing. I am so thankful for my career and the incredible support I have received along the way. It is with the heaviest of hearts that I am leaving but an amazing challenge awaits me and my family.
“My wife Katri and children Finn, Aoibhinn and Elsie have been an incredible support and we are really looking forward to the next chapter of our lives. I want to wish the Munster Rugby squad, staff and supporters all the success for the future and the five of us will continue to cheer you on!”
The back-row forward made his debut against Cardiff Blues in September 2006 at The Arms Park, and went on to make his Heineken Cup debut against Leicester Tigers in January 2007 in Thomond Park.
“James is an honest and committed player with a terrific work-rate, and he has delivered over and over again for Munster,” said Munster Rugby CEO Garrett Fitzgerald on Coughlan’s departure.
“He is an example to all aspiring players – dedication and hard-work at club level secured his fate as he broke into professional rugby and excelled as a player, something we are extremely thankful for. It is hard for us to release such a valuable asset but we fully support James and his family and wish them all the best with their move.”