Leinster and Ireland back row, Sean O’Brien, is set for a surprise move to London Irish at the end of the Rugby World Cup, according to media reports.
It is believed that O’Brien will remain as part of the Irish set-up through the World Cup as his official contract with the IRFU does not expire until November.
The Carlow man turns 32 next month and reports suggest that the IRFU were unwilling to offer him another long term contract, thus prompting London Irish to chase the player.
RugbyPass report that O’Brien is set to sign a three-year contract with a salary of £450,000.
While the news will come as a blow to Leinster, they do have a number of options in the back row with players such as Josh van der Flier, Jack Conan and Rhys Ruddock already established while the likes of Scott Penney and Max Deegan are fighting for starting positions.
O’Brien will be the latest Irish signing for Declan Kidney following the news that Ian Keatley will join up with the club until the end of the season when he will then make the move to Benetton.
Reports suggest that Paddy Jackson will also join London Irish from Perpignan at the end of the season.
The club are currently at the top of the Championship and look set to rejoin the Premiership in the 2019/2020 season.