Munster and the IRFU have announced that front row trio BJ Botha, Niall Scannell and Kevin O'Byrne have signed contract extensions with the province.

Botha has signed a six-month contract extension and will stay at Munster until December of this year.

Scanell has signed a full two-year contract, and O’Byrne has signed a one-year development deal.

35-year-old South African Botha has been with Munster since start of the 2011-12 season, and has made 93 appearances.

Head Coach Anthony Foley said: “[Botha] brings a wealth of experience and knowledge to the scrum and front row and it is a huge boost to the squad to have him available during the World Cup window when our squad numbers will be reduced.”

24-year-old hooker Scannell, who moved in to the senior squad as a development player at the start of the 2013/14 season and will now advance to a full contract at the start of the 2015/16 season.

He has played 14 times for Mumster ‘A’ in the British and Irish Cup and six times for the senior team.

O'Byrne has a signed a one-year development contract that will see him stay with the province until at least June 2016.

The 23-year-old UL Bohemians club-man joined the squad on a training contract at the start of this season and he has gone on to make 11 appearances for the province.

Foley said that the injuries that had hit Munster hard this season showed the importance of cover at hooker.

“Out of a possible six hookers we had two, max three, available for most of the season through various injuries,” he said.

“With Damien Varley's retirement confirmed and Mike Sherry out since November 2013 it's great to see these young players, both Kevin and Niall, taking their opportunities and committing their futures to the province."

It has also been confirmed this week that Development prop Alan Cotter will leave the province at the end of the current season, to join French Federale 1 side Le Parc Pays D'Aix, who are currently in pursuit of Pro D2 qualification.