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Dublin: 15 °C Monday 13 July, 2020

Sean O'Brien has signed a new three-year contract with the IRFU

The Tullow man has signed on until after the 2019 World Cup.

SEAN O’BRIEN HAS signed a new three-year IRFU contract, keeping him with Leinster until after the 2019 Rugby World Cup.

The 28-year-old has been sidelined in recent weeks with an inner ear issue, but his performances for Ireland and Leinster this season have underlined his ongoing importance to both sides.

Sean O'Brien celebrates winning O'Brien is staying put in Ireland. Source: Billy Stickland/INPHO

O’Brien was sensational in the World Cup pool stage win over France this year, but a ban for punching Pascal Papé in the opening minute of that game meant he missed the quarter-final defeat to Argentina.

In signing a new three-year central contract with the IRFU, O’Brien is clearly targeting the 2019 tournament in Japan. The Tullow man’s re-contracting is also a major boost for Leinster as they look to remain competitive in the Champions Cup over the coming seasons.

IRFU performance director David Nucifora, who will speak to the media for the first time in over a year this evening, was the man to negotiate the new contract. The Australian welcomed O’Brien’s commitment to Irish rugby.

Sean is not only a proven world class player but he is a leader within the national set up and at Leinster,” said Nucifora. “The IRFU are delighted that Sean has committed to playing in Ireland until after the next World Cup.”

O’Brien himself also expressed pleasure at having concluded the new deal.

“Growing up as a young lad in Tullow it was always my ambition to play for Leinster and Ireland so you never take moments like this for granted and I am very grateful for the opportunity to sign with a club that I feel is going in the right direction under Leo (Cullen) and the rest of the coaching team,” said O’Brien.

“I think we have a hugely talented group of players and coaches at provincial and national level and it is something that I want to be a part of.”

O’Brien hopes to make his return from vestibular impairment in Leinster’s inter-provincial derby against Munster on 27 December.

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About the author:

Murray Kinsella

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