Northampton-bound JJ Hanrahan has said his decision to leave Munster and sign for the English Premiership outfit was a “100% rugby decision” based on his desire to play in his favoured No 10 position.
"I'm ambitious with where I want to be in my career and that's what my decision was based on,” Hanrahan said in an interview with munsterrugby.ie.
Despite reports Hanrahan's Saints' contract is worth a lucrative €200,000 a year, the Ireland under-20 international said his decision was solely based on his rugby ambitions.
"This has been a 100% rugby decision, that's all it's ever been based on. I've huge ambitions for my career, huge ambitions for Ireland.
“I'm an extremely driven person and that's the only thing that's driving me - where can I best develop myself and become the best player that I can be.”
The Kerry born out-half will leave Munster at the end of the season, despite being offered a three-year contract extension to stay at Thomond Park.
“I was in the very privileged position to be offered two very good contracts from Munster and Northampton.
"I was in the very privileged position to be offered two very good contracts from Munster and Northampton" - JJ Hanrahan
“Munster were great throughout all of this but at the end of the day it was my decision based on what I thought was best for my future,” said the 22-year-old, who has been a rising star since first making his league debut against Newport Gwent Dragons in September 2012.
However, Hanrahan has had to face being second-choice out-half with Munster head coach Anthony Foley preferring to keep the 2012 IRB World Junior Player of the Year nominee as back-up to incumbent Ian Keatley.
“It's not a secret to know that it's my favourite position to play , and where I think I can add most to my game.
“It's where I can add the most value to myself and other teams. It's one of many factors but I train constantly as a 10, I think as a 10 and I like to play as a 10.
“It's where most of my abilities come out and where I can be best served in the future.”
A product of the Munster Academy, the former Rockwell College pupil admits it will be a wrench to leave his home province and move abroad to the Saints, but it’s a decision Hanrahan is convinced is the right one.
"You're Munster growing up, you want to be there and you see a big future.
“Obviously your dream is to play for Munster but when you make a decision you make it on the basis of what's best for your career going forward.”
He added: “There's a lot of unknowns in life, and this is the next step, it's the next progression in my career.”