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Mike McCarthy to leave Connacht after agreeing a deal to join Leinster

Last Updated: 12/12/12 10:53am

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Mike McCarthy: Swapping Connacht for Leinster next summer

Mike McCarthy: Swapping Connacht for Leinster next summer

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Lock Mike McCarthy will leave Connacht at the end of the season to join rivals Leinster.

Connacht had been locked in lengthy negotiations with McCarthy to keep him at The Sportsground, but a statement released on Wednesday confirmed that their inspirational forward was on the move.

Chief Executive Tom Sears said: "We are bitterly disappointed to lose Mike McCarthy, who has been a popular senior member of our squad.

"We are bitterly disappointed to lose Mike McCarthy, who has been a popular senior member of our squad."
Tom Sears

"While disappointed, particularly given the continued success of Connacht Rugby in recent years, we respect the individual player's decision and wish Mike every success in his future playing career."

But Sears is less than enamoured with Leinster, who he accused of continuing a trend of poaching their best players, including Fionn Carr and Sean Cronin.

He added: "We have been aware of Leinster's interest in Mike for some time. It is disappointing they have persistently targeted Connacht players in recent years, particularly when often not in the best interest of Irish Rugby."

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