Ireland

O'Driscoll signs on for more

Thu, 16 May 2013 11:27
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Brian is a truly exceptional talent
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Brian O'Driscoll ended speculation about his future by signing a new one-year deal to play on for Ireland and Leinster.

The Ireland legend had been widely tipped to hang up his boots following the British and Irish Lions tour to Australia next month.

His previous contract with the Irish Rugby Football Union and Leinster was due to end following that tour, but has now been extended until June 2014.

"I want to thank the IRFU and Leinster for allowing me the time to think about my future and discuss my options with my family," O'Driscoll said.

"The support my family and the Irish and Leinster fans have shown me over the past few months, and indeed years, has been phenomenal and I am now very much looking forward to one more year playing with Ireland and Leinster."

O'Driscoll made his senior Ireland and Leinster debuts in 1999 and has since gone on to appear 125 times for Ireland and 172 times for Leinster, scoring 46 international and 59 Leinster tries.

Ahead of this week's Challenge Cup Final O'Driscoll has already won a Grand Slam, four Triple Crowns, three European Cups and two Pro12 (Celtic League) championships.

Announcing the contract extension IRFU CEO Philip Browne, said: "The IRFU is delighted that Brian has chosen to sign a new contract, ensuring he remains available to Ireland and Leinster for one more year.

"Brian is a truly exceptional talent and there is no doubt that this new contract will boost our game, at every level, in the coming year. We wish him, his Leinster and indeed his Lions teammates all the very best in their forthcoming games and look forward to working with Brian in the 2013/14 season."

"It's great that Brian has agreed to continue playing," new Ireland coach Joe Schmidt said.

"He's an inspirational player, not only on the pitch, but also on the training ground. He's played well again this season and other players continue to learn from him.

"I know that every squad of which he is a part will profit from his qualities both as a rugby player and a person."

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