The Irish Rugby Football Union and Leinster Rugby are pleased to announce that Ireland and Leinster second row Malcolm O'Kelly has agreed a new contract that will see him continue to play in Ireland with Leinster until the end of the 2007/08 season.
O'Kelly is Ireland's most capped player, after eclipsing the great Mike Gibson's previous record of 69 caps during last year's RBS 6 Nations Championship. His 75 caps to date have come since making his debut against New Zealand in 1997.
IRFU Chief Executive Philip Browne said: "This is another timely signing for Ireland and Leinster as we head into this year's RBS 6 Nations Championship. The union's aim has been and will remain to keep our players in Ireland to manage their welfare, and Malcolm's decision to remain in Ireland is a welcome one - in addition to Brian O'Driscoll's recent new contract."
Leinster Rugby Chief Executive Mick Dawson added: "I am delighted that Malcolm has committed his immediate future to Leinster and Irish rugby. Malcolm has been a stalwart since making his Leinster debut in 1995 and is internationally recognised as one of worl rugby's finest second rows. He has been a true leader both on and off the field, and his commitment, followed by that of Brian O'Driscoll's recently, is another massive boost for Leinster Rugby."
Malcolm O'Kelly said: "The next couple of seasons with both Leinster and Ireland are going to be very important. With the new coaching set-up in Leinster and 2007 World Cup fast approaching, I think these will be very exciting times for the province and the Ireland team.
"I am happy to have agreed my new contract, allowing me to concentrate on the upcoming RBS 6 Nations and the visit of Italy this weekend."
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