FORMER Munster number eight Paddy Butler has joined Japanese side MIE Honda HEAT.
Thirty one-year-old Butler had previously played with another Japanese side Yamaha Jubilo who he joined on a two-year-deal in January 2020.
Honda HEAT, who are based inSuzuka City are owned by Honda Motor. The club play in the Japan Rugby League One, the top tier of the Japan’s rugby union hierarchy.
Butler confirmed the move in a post on his Instagram account. ‘New colours this season. Delighted to have joined @hondaheat_official’
Talented back-rower and former Shannon clubman Butler departed Munster in the summer of 2015. The dynamic ball carrier later played with French Top 14 side Pau.
The dynamic back-row, who represented Shannon in the All-Ireland League, parted ways with Pau in the summer of 2019 and was training with the Munster squad in pre-season.
Butler featured in Munster’s pre-season friendlies with London Irish at Musgrave Park in September and against Connacht at the Sportground in Galway a week later.
As a 20-year-old, former Rockwell College star Butler secured a development contract with Munster after impressing for the Ireland U20s in the 2010 Six Nations and at the Junior World Cup in Argentina.
He made the move to a senior contract at the start of the 2011/12 season and played a central role in Munster’s victory in the British & Irish Cup.
Butler made his Heineken Cup debut in Paris coming on as replacement against Racing Metro in October 2012 and in total made seven Heineken Cup appearances in 2012/13.
He featured in the Emerging Ireland’s 2014 Nations Cup winning campaign, scoring a brace of tries against Romania.
In all, Butler played 64 times for Munster, scoring seven tries.