Munster Is Still Reaping The Benefit Of Stephen Archer’s Class And Durability

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The tight head prop is coming up on 250 appearances and has signed on for at least another year.

Gone in 60 minutes, on the outside, is a rule of thumb for the modern-day front row, so it is crucial to shoehorn all the good stuff into the first hour of a game. In his 13th season with Munster, Stephen Archer has over 245 appearances and recently signed a new contract that will keep him until 2023.

During that time, the 34-year-old Cork-born tight head prop proved highly durable. If you ignore the three games played in Stephen Archer’s first season, he averages about 20 matches per season, with highs of 28 and 29 games in just referencing some campaigns in the last five years.

He has started 11 of 15 matches so far this season, and with John Ryan departing in the summer, he will be the senior tight head with Keynan Knox, Roman Salanoa, and James French all eyeing up the number three jersey. He picked up a couple of caps for Ireland against Italy and Australia in 2013.

Archer’s diligence has ensured that he is a valued member of the squad. However, during his time, Munster managed just a single trophy, a Magners League success (2011), and a couple of British & Irish Cup wins for the A-team. So it is a disappointing return for the blood and sweat invested.

This season, Johann van Graan’s squad has reached the quarter-finals of the Heineken Champions Cup, where they will face Toulouse in a little over a fortnight. But first, Munster head for a very important United Rugby Championship (URC) clashes with Ulster in Belfast on Friday night.

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