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*Photograph: Helen McQuillan.

Clare’s Ethan Coughlan has jointed the first-team squad of Munster Rugby on a short-term basis.

Munster returned to training at their High Performance Centre in Limerick on Monday following their disappointing Guinness PRO14 10-13 loss to Leinster in Thomond Park on Saturday. They are away to Benetton on Saturday.

Ethan Coughlan was among the fresh faces training with them as part of their preparations. The scrum-half has returned to the squad on a short-term basis along with Leinster academy man Paddy Patterson to provide additional scrum-half cover.

Both nines were drafted in by the province with Conor Murray and Craig Casey on international duty with Ireland while Neil Cronin continues to rehab a long-term knee injury. Ethan and Patterson will compete with Nick McCarthy for game-time.

Coughlan formerly of Ennis RFC represented the Irish U18 Club Side in 2018 and 2019, captaining his country in his second year with the squad. Alongside fellow Ennis RFC product, Conor Moloney he received game-time Munster’s A side in 2020.

He trained with Johann van Graan’s first-team squad earlier this season. The National Talent Squad member has been in their thinking for some months, in November an injury prevented him from joining the squad with Leinster sub-academy and Ireland U20s scrum-half Ben Murphy offered a seven-week contract as a result.

Prior to focusing on rugby, Ethan won a minor football title and U16A hurling medal with St Josephs Doora/Barefield.

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