Rugby star Jack Regan (pictured on right).

Birr native signs contract with New Zealand club

Birr native Jack Regan has signed a short-term contract with New Zealand Super Rugby side the Highlanders.

The second row forward had been training with the Dunedin-based Highlanders, having previously shown some impressive form for Otago in the Mitre 10 Cup. And he has also been offered a two-year deal to continue playing rugby at that level with Otago.

Regan (23) first moved to New Zealand in March of last year when he joined up with the Dunedin Sharks.

Jack is a son of former Birr and Offaly hurling star Daithí Regan, who won an All-Ireland senior medal with Offaly in 1994.

Jack started his rugby career as a youngster with Birr RFC and the club congratulated him on securing a training contract with the Hidlanders.

Birr GAA also congratulated Jack, who played hurling for the club when he was younger.

"Huge congrats to Birr man Jack Regan who is proudly flying the green and red flag in New Zealand. Jack has signed a professional contract with Super Rugby side The Highlanders and we wish him continued success," said the club in a tweet.

The Super Rugby season in New Zealand is due to get underway next month. Jack will be hoping to gain valuable experience with the Highlanders in a country where rugby is by some distance the most popular sport. And Regan's ongoing experience in New Zealand could lead to other opportunities if he decides to move closer to home in the future.

Early last year, Regan was released by Ulster not long after making his PRO14 debut against Leinster. Regan was previously with Leinster but moved north when he didn't get a full academy place with his native province.

Regan's fellow Birr men Peter Dooley and Michael Milne currently play rugby with Leinster.

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