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Leinster confirm that Jimmy Gopperth is talking to other clubs ahead of next season

The out-half looks set to move on with the imminent return of Johnny Sexton.

Gopperth Leinster's career looks set to end after this season.
Gopperth Leinster's career looks set to end after this season.
Image: Inpho/Billy Stickland

THE WRITING WAS on the wall from the moment Johnny Sexton announced that he was returning to Leinster and now it appears that one of the province’s incumbent tens – Jimmy Gopperth – will leave at the end of the season.

Gopperth is talking to a few clubs – Wasps being one of them – so he put himself in the shop window nicely at the Stoop on Sunday, where he had one of his best games of the season.

Leinster skills coach Richie Murphy confirmed that Gopperth has been considering offers from new clubs ahead of next season.

“Jimmy was given a heads-up early on about Johnny coming back and he feels he still wants to be a first-team player,” Murphy said.

“He has decided to have a look around and that is where that is at the moment. We are aware that he is looking and we are aware that Wasps were talking to him but they aren’t the only team talking to him.

“He is a quality player and tens are hard to come by around Europe.”

Despite knowing that he was likely to move on at the end of the year, Murphy says he hasn’t noticed any decline in Gopperth’s application in training and on matchday.

“It was probably a tough enough position for him to be in but you wouldn’t see that on a daily basis,” Murphy said.

“He is the same person he was last year and he put in a good performance last Sunday.”

With Gopperth likely on the way out, Murphy says the process to sign Ian Madigan up long term – his current deal runs til 2016 – will likely start next season.

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“That process of signing Ian will start in and around that World Cup time,” Murphy said.

“Ian has been a fantastic player for us this season and his goal kicking has been phenomenal. His ability to slot in and out of different positions is great and he has no preconceived notions about where he should be playing.”

- Originally published 14.08

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