At the announcement of the sponsorship Ian Sherwin, manager of the Munster Rugby Academy said 'this continues to be a very unique sponsorship that directly benefits our academy players on and off the field. It also acknowledges the way rugby is developing with a large element of player development taking place off the pitch. Ensuring all players have access to their own laptops for game and skills analysis is a great resource to have for their educational and rugby development.'
Managing Partner of BDO Simpson Xavier Brian McGann said 'One of the critical aspects underlying any team success in business or sports is a commitment to developing their people. We are delighted to make this contribution to the development of the future stars of Munster Rugby and in particular to be associated with the Academy who have produced so many fantastic players that have graduated to the senior team.'
The sponsorship will also result in BDO Simpson Xavier continuing to work with the Academy on a career development programme for academy members. Players will also be provided with access to ongoing career advice from dedicated consultants across a range of business disciplines.
The Academy operates a three year cycle with a maximum of seven places per year available. During their three years in the Academy all players complete a Level 7 Higher Education Training Awards Council Diploma in Professional Rugby through HETAC. A number of Academy players have now gone on to win Irish caps including Tomas O'Leary, Donnacha Ryan and Keith Earls.