Leinster Rugby have announced 21 new contracts, including the signing of Cian Kelleher from Connacht, but Rob Kearney is not included on the list.
Kearney’s contract with the IRFU expires after the 2019 World Cup in Japan and there is widespread speculation as to where he will play his rugby next season.
Kearney is not among the list of departures either so it could be a case that he is still in negotiations with the IRFU.
Meanwhile, the eastern province have confirmed the signing of Kelleher who has spent the last three seasons in Galway. He left the Leinster Academy in 2016 but he will once again line out in blue as he rejoins Leo Cullen’s side.
Speaking about the move Kelleher said, “I’m incredibly excited to get back to my home province this summer and get started in an unbelievable set up in Leinster.
“It was an opportunity too good to refuse when it came up and I can’t wait to get started and compete in an extremely competitive environment. I hope to add to the incredible success the province has had in the last couple of seasons.”
In addition to the central contracts of Johnny Sexton, Cian Healy and Robbie Henshaw and the confirmed signing of Kelleher, 17 players have been rewarded with senior contracts, the full list which you can find below:
Leinster Rugby – New Senior Contracts 2019/20:
1. Bryan Byrne, 41 Leinster Caps (LC), 12 Leinster Tries (T)
2. Jack Conan, 14 Ireland Caps (IC), 88 LC, 21 T
3. Max Deegan, 45 LC, 11 T
4. Scott Fardy, 39 Australia Caps, 43 LC, 9 T
5. Ciarán Frawley, 14 LC, 1 T
6. Jamison Gibson-Park, 70 LC, 15 T
7. Cian Healy, 2 British & Irish Lions Caps (BIL), 88 IC, 2017 LC, 22 T
8. Robbie Henshaw, 4 BIL, 37 IC, 36 LC, 7 T
9. Dave Kearney, 17 IC, 136 LC, 29 T
10. Hugo Keenan, 5 LC, 1 T
11. Cian Kelleher, 7 LC, 1 T
12. Rónan Kelleher, 2 LC
13. Dan Leavy, 11 IC, 63 LC, 16 T
14. Fergus McFadden, 34 IC, 178 LC, 27 T
15. Luke McGrath, 10 IC, 112 LC, 29 T
16. Josh Murphy, 21 LC, 1 T
17. Conor O’Brien, 17 LC, 6 T
18. Jimmy O’Brien, 7 LC, 3 T
19. Hugh O’Sullivan, 14 LC
20. Scott Penny, 6 LC, 2 T
21. Johnny Sexton, 14 BIL, 83 IC, 159 LC, 25 T
Academy Players Promoted to Senior Squad;
1. Ciarán Frawley
2. Hugo Keenan
3. Rónan Kelleher
4. Conor O’Brien
5. Jimmy O’Brien
6. Hugh O’Sullivan
7. Scott Penny
The eastern province have also announced the players who will be departing the province this summer.
Leinster Rugby – Departees 2018/19:
1. Tom Daly, 12 LC, 2 T
2. Mick Kearney, 51 LC, 1 T
3. Nick McCarthy, 35 LC, 4 T
4. Jack McGrath, 7 BIL, 54 IC, 145 LC, 12 T
5. Ian Nagle, 19 LC
6. Seán O’Brien, 11 BIL, 56 IC, 126 LC, 20 T
7. Noel Reid, 1 IC, 121 LC, 17 Tries
“It is a credit to the work that goes on in the schools and in the clubs that we are in a position to confirm 21 new contracts, with all but three coming through the system here,” Cullen said.
“Over the last ten months or so we have been able to hand debuts to nine Academy players and they have deserved those opportunities. And now seven players that started this season in the Academy will start next season as senior players.
“I am delighted for them and indeed their families and congratulate them on their promotion. We have been very happy with what we have seen from them all in the Guinness PRO14 and in some cases in the Heineken Champions Cup and we hope that they get many more chances in a Leinster jersey in the coming years.
“It is also exciting to welcome Cian back to Leinster Rugby. We have always kept a close eye on his progress at Connacht and it’s great that we can now welcome him back to Leinster and we wish him well in what is already a very competitive position in the team.”