Pro14: Munster confirm the capture of Sale full-back Mike Haley

Haley made his European debut for Sale against Munster in October 2014
Mike Haley made his European debut for Sale against Munster in October 2014

Munster have announced the signing of Mike Haley from Sale Sharks.

The full-back, who still had one year remaining on his contract with Sale, is qualified to play for Ireland through his maternal grandmother.

Haley, 23, has agreed a three-year deal with the Irish province.

"I have a strong family connection with Munster and used to go there all the time when I was younger and being eligible to play for Ireland was another big factor," said Haley.

"Obviously it was a very, very difficult decision.

""I've spent many happy years at Sale but after lots of careful thought I just felt that it was a once in a lifetime opportunity I had to take."

Munster had been searching for a possible replacement for Simon Zebo, who will join French club Racing 92 at the end of the season.

Haley remains eligible to play for Ireland despite playing for England Saxons during their tour of South Africa in June 2016 as well as representing an England XV against Barbarians in May 2017.

He has made 105 appearances for Sharks since making his debut as a teenager in 2013 and has scored 15 tries for the Premiership side.

Sale director of rugby Steve Diamond said they did not want to stand in the way of Haley's international ambitions.

"It has been a really difficult decision to let Mike go with us having brought him through from being a teenager and with Mike having a year left on his contract," said Diamond.

"However, he has aspirations to play international rugby with Ireland and we really didn't want to stand in his way."

Haley will follow in the footsteps of prop Ciaran Parker, who joined Munster from Sale last year.

"We are delighted to recruit an exciting young playmaker such as Mike," said Munster head coach Johann van Graan.

"At 23, he has over six years of professional rugby under his belt and will be a great addition to our squad."