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Brian O’Driscoll signs one-year deal with Ireland and Leinster

Brian O'Driscoll with former Leinster and current Ireland  coach Joe Schmidt,
Brian O’Driscoll with former Leinster and current Ireland coach Joe Schmidt

BRIAN O’Driscoll will play for another season after signing a new one-year contract with the Irish rugby union.

The 34-year-old Ireland and Leinster centre had hinted earlier this month that the appointment of Joe Schmidt as Ireland coach could persuade him to delay his expected retirement.

In a statement O’Driscoll thanked the IRFU and Leinster “for allowing me the time to think about my future and discuss my options with my family.”

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He added: “The support my family and the Irish and Leinster fans have shown me over the past few months, and indeed years, has been phenomenal and I am now very much looking forward to one more year playing with Ireland and Leinster.”

O’Driscoll is the second most-capped player in international rugby having made his senior Ireland and Leinster debuts in 1999.

He has been capped 125 times for Ireland and scored 46 international tries.

O’Driscoll has won a Grand Slam, four Triple Crowns, three Heineken Cups and two Pro 12 (Celtic League) championships.

New Zealander Schmidt said that “It’s great that Brian has agreed to continue playing.”

He added: “He’s an inspirational player, not only on the pitch, but also on the training ground.

“He’s played well again this season and other players continue to learn from him. I know that every squad of which he is a part will profit from his qualities both as a rugby player and a person.”

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Steve Cummins
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Steve is the Irish Post's digital media & entertainment editor and looks after the paper's website and weekly entertainment supplement, Rí-Rá. Follow him @steve_cummins

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