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New Munsterman has eyes on Ireland

Guinness PRO12 Editor

14 Jul 2010

Munster signing Peter Borlase believes his summer switch could eventually lead to a spot on the international scene with Ireland.

The Canterbury prop has signed a two-year deal at Thomond Park and will link up with his team-mates following the ITM Cup in New Zealand.

But the Kiwi admits that if his move to Limerick proves to be successful, he has one eye on extending his stay with the Red Army and forcing his way into the Declan Kidney's national set-up under the residency rule.

"I'm going to Ireland as a project player and that basically means you go through the Irish Rugby Football Union,” said 25-year-old Borlase.

"It doesn't necessarily mean I'm going to play for Ireland, but there is that option.

"There's a lot of water to go under the bridge first. But after two years there, there is an option that I could explore that route if I stay for another year.

"The IRFU have also got a say in the matter and, if you pass their criteria, then that path can become available."

Tight-head Borlase hopes to boost the strength in depth and challenge the current crop aiming to take over from Irish Test centurion John Hayes in the coming years.

British & Irish Lion Hayes, 36, has won 102 caps for his country but it remains unclear who will fill his boots once he decides to call it a day.

Under-studies Tony Buckley and Tom Court both turn 30 years of age this autumn while former Munster front-rower Tim Ryan has recently moved from Toulon to Newcastle Falcons in England.

Borlase was a real find in Canterbury's 2009 championship-winning season but he has struggled to nail down a regular spot with the Crusaders this year.

He only managed two appearances in the Super 14 and the Christchurch-born forward insists that proved a major factor in his decision to turn his back on his home region and depart for Europe.

"With the calibre of props we have in Ben and Owen Franks and Wyatt Crockett, who are all All Blacks or thereabouts, realistically knocking on the door for a starting spot was going to be pretty tough,” added Borlase.

"Being Canterbury born and bred, it wouldn't really spin my wheels going to another province or Super 14 side.

"So the next best thing is going to the other side of the world and Munster, who have the same values and attributes as Canterbury and the Crusaders."