MUNSTER WINGER JAMES McCarthy has dropped out of the province’s academy to return home to Wales after just two seasons in Ireland. 

The 20-year-old, who has made five appearances for Noel McNamara’s Ireland U20s, came through the IRFU’s Exiles pathway and joined the Munster academy in 2017. 

McCarthy had trained with the Munster senior team this season. Source: Oisin Keniry/INPHO

McCarthy had been part of the Dragons academy and represented Wales at underage level before being recruited by the IRFU, but has found it difficult to settle away from family and friends in Limerick.

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The Welsh-born back, who is Irish-qualified through his father, scored three tries for Ireland during last season’s Six Nations, including a brace in a man-of-the-match performance against Italy, and was part of the Grand Slam-winning squad earlier this year.

Tall and lean, McCarthy’s pace, quick feet and finishing ability marked him out as an exciting prospect and having trained with Johann van Graan’s senior squad in recent times, was included in Munster’s ‘A’ panel for the Cara Cup trip to America.