Six Nations

Heaslip signs new Irish deal for 2019 World Cup

2017-02-14 18:30
Jamie Heaslip (AFP)

London - Ireland No 8 Jamie Heaslip has signed a new Irish Rugby Football Union contract that will see him continue to play his club rugby in Ireland until the end of the 2019 World Cup in Japan.

The back-row forward will remain with Dublin-based Leinster during that period and Tuesday's announcement was something of a coup for the IRFU given Heaslip could have been a target for a lucrative club contract overseas.

The 33-year-old has scored 13 tries in 93 Tests since making his Ireland debut in 2006 and has also been on two tours with the British Irish Lions in a career where he has so far made 227 appearances for Leinster during the past 12 years.

When regular Ireland captain Rory Best withdrew because of illness from last week's Six Nations international in Rome, it was Heaslip who led the side to a record 63-10 rout of Italy.

"My aim when I started my professional rugby career was to leave the jersey -- either the blue of Leinster or the green of Ireland -- in a better place than when I first put it on, and this new contract gives me the chance to continue to chase this dream," said Heaslip in an IRFU statement.

IRFU performance director David Nucifora added: "Jamie continues to illustrate why he is one of the top performers in international rugby.

"He is a leader for both his country and province, and delivers a high level of performance every time he pulls on the green or blue jersey."

Read more on:    ireland  |  jamie heaslip  |  rugby
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