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Dublin: 7 °C Thursday 24 January, 2019

Leinster announcement on Nacewa signing expected early next week

The 32-year-old is set for a comeback after two seasons out of the game.

LEINSTER ARE EXPECTED to announce the return of former star Isa Nacewa early next week.

Isa Nacewa Nacewa retired in 2013. Source: Colm O'Neill/INPHO

The 32-year-old is set to re-join the province after two seasons out of the game on a one-year contract – as reported by Gerry Thornley of The Irish Times this morning.

The42 understands that both Leinster and the player have agreed terms, although the very final contracting details and sign-off from the IRFU are still to be completed.

It is hoped an official announcement will be made on Tuesday of next week.

Nacewa played a major role in Leinster’s three Heineken Cup successes in 2009, 20011 and 2012, while also winning a Pro12 title and a Challenge Cup trophy during his time in Ireland, before retiring in 2013.

The New Zealander has been working with the Blues in his native Auckland since November 2013 under the title of mental skills coach, although The42 is told his role with the Super Rugby franchise extended well beyond that remit and into more traditional practical coaching on the pitch.

Nacewa was similarly influential during his first stint with Leinster, both on the pitch as a supremely-rounded and versatile back, but also as a guiding presence around younger players.

Leinster's Isa Nacewa Nacewa won three Heineken Cups with Leinster. Source: Billy Stickland/INPHO

While Nacewa has not been playing rugby since his retirement, even at a club level, The42 understands that the once-capped Fiji international has been keeping himself in fine condition by partaking in Crossfit among other activities.

Nacewa has found himself yearning to tog out again and the player himself is understood to have been a big driver in re-opening discussions with Leinster. The province’s reaction was naturally positive, given Nacewa’s standing within the organisation.

Confirmation of the re-signing of Nacewa next week will bring to five the number of ‘new’ faces at Leinster next season, with Johnny Sexton, Mick Kearney, Ian Hirst and Royce Burke-Flynn already having been announced.

The prospect of Sexton and Nacewa linking up again in 2015 is one that excites.

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About the author:

Murray Kinsella

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