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Irish centre Brendan Macken set to join Declan Kidney's London Irish

The former Leinster midfielder has spent the summer with Leicester Tigers.

Image: James Crombie/INPHO

FORMER LEINSTER CENTRE Brendan Macken is set to sign for Declan Kidney’s London Irish ahead of the new Championship season.

The 27-year-old midfielder has spent the pre-season with Leicester Tigers, featuring in their friendly games in recent weeks, but The42 understands that Macken is close to finalising a deal to join London Irish.

Former Ireland U20 international Macken came through Leinster’s academy and played for the province at senior level more than 40 times, making his debut during Michael Cheika’s tenure and then playing under Joe Schmidt and Matt O’Connor.

Also capped by Emerging Ireland, Macken moved to Wasps in 2015 in search of more game time, having had a brief loan spell at Gloucester.

Macken left Wasps at the end of last season after spending three years with the Premiership club, making 30 appearances and scoring nine tries during that time.

He linked up with O’Connor again at Leicester this summer on a short-term contract for pre-season, playing in their friendlies against Cardiff Blues, Benetton and London Irish in the last three weeks.

It now appears that Macken has decided to make a move to London Irish rather than remain at Leicester, meaning he is set to work with director of rugby Kidney and head coach Les Kiss, both of whom joined the club in March.

The Exiles will be favourites to win promotion straight back into the Premiership this season and the addition of Macken would be a timely boost to their prospects of going up.

USA international Bryce Campbell, Canada’s Ciaran Hearne and the Irish-qualified Fergus Mulchrone are among the other midfield options available to Kidney and Kiss.

London Irish’s Championship season gets underway with a visit to Ealing Trailfinders on Saturday.

- This article was updated at 9.34pm to correct ‘Richmond’ to ‘Ealing Trailfinders’ in the final paragraph.

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About the author:

Murray Kinsella

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