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Dublin: 8 °C Friday 26 April, 2019
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Leavy and Conan stay as Leinster announce 13 contract renewals

The eastern province have announced new deals for 13 of their senior squad.

BACK ROW DUO Jack Conan and Dan Leavy are among 13 Leinster players to have signed contract renewals ahead of next season.

As has become their modus operandi, the eastern province have announced their list of contract extensions all at once, despite some of these deals having been signed many weeks or even months ago.

Jack Conan runs in their second try of the game Conan was superb against Wasps last weekend. Source: Ryan Byrne/INPHO

Leinster have also opted against announcing the duration of the new contracts again this season.

Joining Leavy and Conan in agreeing to remain at Leinster are fellow Ireland internationals Luke McGrath, Jordi Murphy, Richardt Strauss and Noel Reid.

The IRFU had previously confirmed new central union contracts for Jamie Heaslip and Devin Toner, who will continue to play for Leinster beyond the summer.

Signing new provincial deals with Leinster are Adam Byrne, Ian Nagle, Mick Kearney, Tom Daly, Barry Daly, Bryan Byrne and his twin brother, Ed.

The new contracts are hugely positive for Leinster as they look to build on their strong progress on the pitch during the current campaign.

Contract extensions:

Jack Conan
Dan Leavy
Luke McGrath
Adam Byrne
Jordi Murphy
Richardt Strauss
Jamie Heaslip [IRFU]
Devin Toner [IRFU]
Ian Nagle
Mick Kearney
Noel Reid
Barry Daly
Ed Byrne
Tom Daly
Bryan Byrne

Number eight Conan has been particularly impressive and The42 understands that the Old Belvedere man had an option to move to Ulster next season. However, the 24-year-old has opted to remain with his native province.

Similarly, it’s understood that Munster chased Leavy’s signature ahead of next season, but he too decided to stay put at Leinster and continue to compete with the likes of Sean O’Brien, Josh van der Flier, Conan, Murphy and more of the province’s back row talent.

Luke McGrath and Adam Byrne have featured prominently for Leinster this season and are rewarded with new contracts, while the likes of Ed and Bryan Byrne, Tom Daly and Barry Daly have shown their promise.

Not on Leinster’s list of renewals are 37-year-old prop Mike Ross, back row Dominic Ryan and Billy Dardis, all of whom are expected to leave this summer.

Jack Conan celebrates scoring a try with his teammates Leinster's future looks bright. Source: Ryan Byrne/INPHO

“Only a few weeks ago we were able to confirm the promotion of seven players from within our own academy to the senior squad,” said head coach Leo Cullen.

“The news today of the retention of a further 13 players to the Leinster roster is a huge boost as we look to build towards next season. You need to have a strong squad capable of challenging on two fronts.

“We have used 51 players so far this season in the Guinness Pro12 and the Champions Cup and with 14 players capped during Ireland’s Six Nations campaign it is vitally important that we have that level of competition and experience across the squad at all times to try to maintain consistency in both competitions.”

Leinster have also previously confirmed the signing of Wallabies international Scott Fardy and Chiefs wing James Lowe for next season, meaning there is much excitement about the future.

“We are trying to play a brand of rugby that excites people and we want to give those supporters in the RDS or in the Aviva Stadium something to really get behind,” said Cullen.

“The signings of Scott and James as well as the other lads that we have promoted to the senior ranks and that we have retained is, I hope, a sign of where we want to bring Leinster next season and into the future.”

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Murray Kinsella

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