London Irish sign Tomas O’Leary from Munster

Aviva Premiership Rugby Club London Irish have signed a three year contract with Ireland scrum-half Tomas O’Leary from the end of this season.

The 28-year-old will join the English Premiership side at the end of the northern hemisphere season from Irish province Munster, where he has won two Heineken Cups and two Celtic League titles.

O’Leary will replace former England scrum-half Paul Hodgson, who will leave London Irish for Worcester at the end of this season.

Capped 24 times by his country, O’Leary was a member of Ireland’s Grand Slam team in 2009 and was selected for that year’s British and Irish Lions tour of South Africa only for an ankle injury to rule him out.

“Joining London Irish presents a new and exciting chapter in my career and one that I am really looking forward to,” O’Leary said.

“I have thoroughly enjoyed my time at Munster and the Heineken (European) Cup triumph in 2008 will always remain a highlight.

“I have been lucky enough to be part of some winning teams at both Munster and Ireland and I hope to have even more success as a London Irish player.”

Exiles director of rugby Brian Smith, the former Australia and Ireland international, said: “Tomas will be a fantastic addition to our squad. He is a proven scrum-half who has represented his country at the highest level.

“He will bring with him a wealth of experience and a winning mentality,” Smith added. “We look forward to welcoming him to the club this summer.”

London Irish are currently ninth in the 12-team Premiership.

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