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Munster's Darren Sweetnam has linked up with his fellow Corkman Ronan O'Gara at La Rochelle, after securing an early release from his contract.

First reported on Saturday night, the move was this morning confirmed by Munster Rugby, who have allowed Sweetnam early release from his current deal.

The Dunamnway winger - who also featured for Cork's senior hurlers in the 2013 All-Ireland final - will link up with Ronan O'Gara's Top 14 outfit as a medical joker on a short term contract until the end of the season.

Darren Sweetnam made 92 appearances for the province, scoring 22 tries, while on the international front he represented Ireland on three occasions and scored a try on his first start against Fiji in November 2017.

However, the signing of Mike Haley, and the growing form of Andrew Conway - along with a series of hamstring injuries for himself - saw him play just five times last season, and he's struggled to play consistent rugby in the current campaign, with the likes of Calvin Nash, Sean French and Liam Coombes also vying for minutes.

Commenting on the move, Head Coach Johann van Graan said, "Like JJ (Hanrahan), we were eager to retain the services of Darren Sweetnam beyond the current campaign, but it hasn’t been feasible.

"He is a hugely talented player who has a chance to play in the premier French competition over the coming months and while we are disappointed to see him leave, we are supportive of the move with the hope of Darren securing future opportunities and success in his career."

It follows on from the news that JJ Hanrahan was also bound for France, with the Kerryman set to join Clermont Auvergne next season, ending his second spell at Munster.

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Darren Sweetnam La Rochelle Munster Rugby Ronan O'Gara

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