Leinster Rugby Head Coach Leo Cullen has this afternoon confirmed that 17 players have signed new IRFU contracts with the province for 2016/17 and beyond, while a further two players have been added to the Leinster squad.
While the central contract for Sean O’Brien had already been announced, as confirmed by the IRFU earlier today, Irish international centre Robbie Henshaw will be joining Leinster from Connacht as will former Munster lock Ian Nagle who played on 29 occasions for his home Province.
Speaking to leinsterrugby.ie Cullen outlined what Leinster supporters can expect from the two new signings.
“We are delighted to have secured Robbie’s signature for the next three seasons. Robbie is a huge talent and we have all seen that over the last few weeks and months with Ireland in the 6 Nations and during the World Cup.
“We look forward to welcoming him into Leinster when this season is over and I am sure that our supporters would echo that view.”
Welcoming former Munster man Nagle, Cullen said:
“It is well documented at this stage that Ian took a sabbatical from rugby at the end of the 2013/14 season to pursue educational opportunities most recently at Cambridge University. He has however made a return to rugby with London Irish and was involved last weekend in their win against Worcester.
“He is also relatively young at 27 and I think he will add even more experience and competition to an already competitive second row roster.”
Henshaw also gave his thoughts and while keen to see out the season with Connacht, looked forward to the challenges ahead.
“I would like to thank Connacht Rugby, the IRFU and Leinster for allowing me time to consider my future. This has been a long and difficult process and while I am sorry to be leaving Connacht I look forward to the next chapter of my rugby career at Leinster.
“The support I have enjoyed from the fans in the Sportsground and throughout the province is something that I really value and I want to thank them for four great years.”
Cullen also spoke about the recruitment process to date and the players confirmed for next season.
“By and large we are very happy with where we are at. It is fantastic to see so many talented players commit their futures to Leinster Rugby and I think the supporters will be hugely excited as we continue to build our squad for the 2016/17 season and beyond.”
Josh van der Flier