...Ireland captain Brian O'Driscoll has agreed a new deal with the IRFU and Leinster that will see him contracted through to 2011. The centre is pictured above with (from left to right): Leinster CEO Mick Dawson, IRFU Chief Executive Philip Browne and IRFU President Peter Boyle...
The Irish Rugby Football Union and Leinster Rugby are happy to announce that terms have been agreed with Brian O'Driscoll that will see the Ireland and Leinster captain remain playing his rugby in Ireland until 2011.
The agreement comes following the recent contract extension announced last year which would have seen him remain with Leinster up to the conclusion of the Rugby World Cup in 2007.
The agreement with O'Driscoll, 27, is part of the ongoing contractual negotiations by the IRFU with Irish international and provincial players.
Commenting on the news, IRFU Chief Executive Philip Browne said: "The policy of the IRFU has always been to endeavour to keep our leading players in Ireland where their wellbeing can be carefully managed. This has been a significant element in our recent success and will continue to be just as important in the future for Irish rugby.
"The news of Brian's commitment comes at a very important time as we build to next year's RBS Six Nations and Rugby World Cup. The IRFU are delighted that Brian will remain in Ireland with Leinster for a further four years and this is another endorsement of the structures that are in place at both provincial and international level."
..."It has been a privilege to wear the blue jersey and I did not see any reason to leave" - Brian O'Driscoll on his decision to stay with Leinster until 2011...
Mick Dawson, the Chief Executive of Leinster Rugby, said: "Brian's decision to commit his long term future to Leinster Rugby is great news for the team and all of our supporters. To have a player of Brian's standing and ability making such an important decision shows that he shares our goals for the future. This announcement is an important step to building on last season and I am sure that I speak for all Leinster fans when I say I am delighted at this news."
Brian O'Driscoll admitted: "I have spent my entire professional rugby career with Leinster and it has always been an honour and privilege to wear the blue jersey. When I sat back and thought about it, it was not a difficult decision to make. I am happy with the coaching set-up that we have here and when you look at the quality of players in our squad, I did not see any reason to leave. We have set ourselves goals for this season and beyond and I want to remain part of those plans for the future."
Exclusive Access, Tickets, Competitions and Much More