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Munster fly-half Joey Carbery has admitted he did not think he would be leaving Irish rugby at this stage in his career, but is looking forward to a “fresh start” in France next season with Bordeaux-Begles.

The 37-cap Ireland international is in the final few months of his time with Munster and Irish rugby as a whole, and while he recently said that a move abroad is something that he wanted to experience, he did not think he would be making the move at the age of 28.

But a disastrous injury record since joining Munster from Leinster in 2018 has meant he has completely dropped out of Andy Farrell’s reckoning, earning his last cap almost 18 months ago.

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Speaking ahead Munster’s United Rugby Championship clash with Cardiff on Saturday, the New Zealand-born fly-half said it was an “extremely tough decision” to leave Munster, but he could not pass by the opportunity to play in the Top 14.

After a poor start to the season, Munster have strung together three league wins in a row, helping them break into the top four with their latest victory. They will be hoping to solidify their place near the top of the table against Cardiff at Thomond Park, as Carbery hopes for a strong finish to his time with the reigning URC champions.

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United Rugby Championship

Munster

Cardiff Rugby

“I suppose it was a great opportunity that I couldn’t really pass by,” Carbery said of move to Bordeaux.

“I think the way things have gone probably over the last year for me, a few people I’ve chatted to were just like ‘look, a fresh break can do and a fresh start can do the world of good for some people.’

“So I’ve taken it for that reason and it’s really exciting. But I suppose there’s still a huge amount to be played for at the end of this season.

“It’s exciting. It was bittersweet, I always had the intention to go abroad and try something different at some stage in by career, I didn’t think it would happen this early. But really excited for what’s to come, but then again looking forward to finishing the season strongly here.”



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