O'Brien commits to Leinster


Sean O'Brien has signed a new contract with the Irish Rugby Football Union (IRFU) to remain at Leinster until after the 2019 Rugby World Cup, ending speculation over a big-money move.

The 28-year-old Ireland flanker only last month conceded joining another big European club was an attractive proposition amid uncertainty over his future.

O'Brien rejected a move to European champions Toulon last year to sign a new deal with Leinster and has once again committed himself to the Pro12 side.

He said: "Growing up as a young lad in Tullow it was always my ambition to play for Leinster Rugby 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 [Leinster coach Cullen] and the rest of the coaching team.

"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."

IRFU performance director David Nucifora welcomed the British and Irish Lions star's decision to extend his stay with the region.

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

O'Brien will make his return to action in the Pro12 clash against Munster on Sunday after being sidelined since last month with a vestibular impairment.