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O’Connell, Leamy, Wallace And Hayes Sign Up For More

O’Connell, Leamy, Wallace And Hayes Sign Up For More

The Irish Rugby Football Union and Munster Rugby are delighted to announce that Paul O’Connell, Denis Leamy, David Wallace and John Hayes have all agreed terms for new contracts to remain playing their club rugby in Ireland with Munster.

Munster captain Paul O’Connell and his team-mate Denis Leamy, who has just returned to action following a shoulder injury, have both agreed to play in the red of Munster until the end of the 2011/12 season.

John Hayes, who is Ireland and Munster’s most capped prop of all-time, and David Wallace, who won his 50th cap for his country in the weekend’s game against Argentina, will also both remain with their home province until the end of the 2009/10 season.

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Commenting on the announcement, IRFU Chief Executive Philip Browne said: “These new contracts indicate the continued desire of the IRFU to keep as many of our top professional players within the provincial structures.

“The news that four players of this calibre and standing in the world game have committed themselves to continue their careers in Ireland is a testament to the positive playing environment that has been put in place for them.

“With increasing market pressures on the retention of players, the IRFU is continually working with the provinces to provide the right facilities and support to ensure that the player’s decision to stay in Ireland is an easier one to make.”

Munster Rugby Chief Executive Garret Fitzgerald was equally delighted with the news.

He said: “These contract renewals are further proof that Munster and Ireland rugby are providing a platform for established international players to perform at the highest level.

“The news that four of our own international squad members are committing to Munster could not come at a more opportune time as we face into a very challenging period with the resumption of the Magners League and the back-to-back games against Clermont Auvergne in the Heineken Cup.”