Trio commit to Leinster
New deals for O'Driscoll, Heaslip and Sexton
Last Updated: 03/02/11 2:13pm
Sexton: Contract agreement
Ireland and Leinster have been buoyed by news that Brian O'Driscoll, Jamie Heaslip and Jonathan Sexton have all agreed new contracts.
O'Driscoll, who made his Ireland debut in 1999, and Sexton have signed two-year extensions to their contract, while Heaslip has committed until June 14.
Leinster coach Joe Schmidt said: "It's a great boost to finally secure the contract extensions of Brian, Jamie and Johnny.
"They have been key players in the province's recent success and they offer genuine leadership, talent and experience as we strive toward further success.
"Being of genuine Leinster stock it's great to have three such pivotal players join with a number of other players who have recently extended their contracts, reaffirming that loyalty amongst Irish players can still outweigh lucrative overseas offers.
"For the province, our sponsors and supporters it offers great stability going forward."
Sexton had been linked to a move away from Ireland after growing frustrated at how his contract talks had been going.
However he is pleased to have got the situation sorted.
"There is something special building in Leinster at the moment and as well as the involvement with Ireland in a World Cup year, that was the main influence on my decision," he said.
"It has been great to get my contract finalised ahead of what is going to be a pretty exciting and challenging period for the Ireland squad and now I just want to focus on playing the best rugby that I can and hopefully contributing to further success with Ireland and Leinster."
O'Driscoll, the Ireland captain, insists he had no hesitation about extending his stay.
He said: "Playing in Ireland with Leinster for my entire career has been all the more enjoyable knowing that my rugby goals I have achieved to date were with an organisation that has really grown at the same time as me over the last 10 years.
"Leinster and Irish Rugby has progressed so far during that time that winning Magners Leagues, Heineken Cups and Grand Slams was infinitely more satisfying knowing that it was done playing in Ireland with my home province."
Heaslip has now set his sight on achieving more success after putting pen to paper on his contract.
He said: "I am pleased to have agreed a new contract and to commit myself to Leinster for a further three years.
"I have been fortunate to enjoy some great success already in my career and I want to achieve more with Leinster and Ireland in the years ahead."