O’Driscoll signs one year Ireland & Leinster deal

Brian O’Driscoll has ended speculation about whether he will retire this year by signing a one year extension with Ireland and Leinster.

The Ireland legend had been widely tipped to hang up his boots following the British and Irish Lions tour to Australia next month.

His previous contract with the IRFU and Leinster was due to end following that tour but has now been extended until June 2014.

O’Driscoll made his senior Ireland and Leinster debuts in 1999 and has since gone on to appear 125 times for Ireland and 172 times for Leinster, scoring 46 international and 59 Leinster tries.

O’Driscoll has already won a Grand Slam, four triple crowns, three Heineken Cups and two PRO12 (Celtic League) championships.

Announcing the contract extension IRFU CEO Philip Browne, said: “The IRFU is delighted that Brian has chosen to sign a new contract, ensuring he remains available to Ireland and Leinster for one more year.

“Brian is a truly exceptional talent and there is no doubt that this new contract will boost our game, at every level, in the coming year. We wish him, his Leinster and indeed his Lions teammates all the very best in their forthcoming games and look forward to working with Brian in the 2013/14 season.”

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

Brian O’Driscoll said: “I want to thank the IRFU and Leinster for allowing me the time to think about my future and discuss my options with my family. “

“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.”

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