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Munster announce Downey signing
ESPNscrum Staff
February 2, 2012
Northampton centre James Downey dives over, Munster v Northampton Saints, Heineken Cup, Thomond Park, Limerick, Ireland, November 12, 2011
James Downey crosses the line against Munster © Getty Images
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Munster have announced the signing of Northampton Saints centre James Downey on a two-year deal.

The 30-year-old has become an integral part of the Saints' backline but has decided to return to his native Ireland for next season. Downey has had previous stints with Leinster and Connacht before switching to Munster for the 2006-07 season. He joined the Saints for the 2007-08 campaign and has since made 135 appearances for the Franklin's Gardens outfit.

Downey took the 2009 Churchill Cup with the Ireland A side and will hope to force his way into the international reckoning once again when back at Munster. The news will come as a blow to the Saints with star winger Chris Ashton moving to Saracens and back-row Roger Wilson returning to Ulster for next season.

Munster coach Tony McGahan is relishing the chance to see Downey back in the red of Munster. " James is a quality player who has been on our radar for some time now," McGahan said. "We've seen at first hand, on several occasion in recent times in the Heineken Cup exactly what he has to offer and believe that his style and his attitude can only enhance our squad."

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