Plymouth Albion sign former Munster fly-half Declan Cusack
PLYMOUTH Albion coach Nat Saumi has ended weeks of searching for additional back cover by signing former Munster fly-half Declan Cusack.
The Irishman, who turns 25 at the end of April, arrives at Brickfields from Spain where he has been playing for Bizkaia Gernika since leaving Munster last summer.
Saumi had made no secret of his desire to strengthen his back options ahead of this week's Championship transfer deadline, making unsuccessful attempts to sign Myles Dorrian, Nic Sestaret and Sione Tu'ipulotu.
But the Albion coach is happy to have landed Cusack, who made five first team appearances for Munster before being released last summer.
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Cusack had attracted interest from Championship sides following his departure from the Irish provisional side but opted to go to Spain where he had the chance to play in the Amlin Challenge Cup.
"I have seen clips of him playing and he comes recommended," said Saumi, who has yet to decide whether to include the Limerick-born player in his squad for Sunday's tough trip to Nottingham.
"I spoke to some of the Munster coaches and I have done my research on him. He is a good goalkicker, a good defender and good rugby player. We are hoping he will come here and provide something for us."
Saumi was keen to bring in additional goalkicking cover as Henry Slade, who is dual-registered with Albion from Exeter, has been away with England Under-20s.
Slade has not been available to Albion for the last two months.
And in his absence, Albion have had no specialist back up goal-kicking or fly-half cover for Paul Roberts.
"It is always good to have two guys who are always here all the time," said Saumi. "Having Paul (Roberts) and Declan here on a full-time basis is a big bonus for me."
He added: "Henry has got his England commitments and I don't know if Exeter are going to need him, but if he does come back then that is good for us also."
Cusack, who can also play centre, played in two British & Irish Cup finals for Munster A. In moving to Brickfields, he will be reunited with his former Munster A half-back partner Paul Rowley.
Cusack, who has also played club rugby for Thomond and Garryowen, found himself as fourth choice number 10 at Munster behind Ronan O'Gara, Ian Keatley and Scott Deasy.