Leinster trio still to sign extensions

Fri, Feb 15, 2013, 00:00

Brian O’Driscoll, Leo Cullen and Luke Fitzgerald are Leinster’s remaining unsigned players for next season.

There has been some interest from France in Cian Healy’s understudy at loosehead prop, Heinke van der Merwe, who was capped by South Africa in November, but it is the above trio who are the main focus.

It remains unclear whether O’Driscoll or Cullen will retire this summer but considering the province’s leadership group will be weakened by Jonathan Sexton’s imminent departure to Racing Metro 92, it appears O’Driscoll or Cullen, or possibly both, may, injury permitting, sign one-year extensions.

Leinster have already recruited a new secondrow, Mike McCarthy from Connacht, and manager Guy Easterby confirmed this week O’Driscoll would not be replaced by a foreign player.

Fitzgerald lost his national contractual status last year, receiving a one-year deal from Leinster, but Fintan Drury, who is also Sexton’s agent, is negotiating a new contract for the 25-year-old.

Meanwhile, Isa Nacewa will not feature against Treviso at the RDS tomorrow due to an old arm injury he exacerbated in the Heineken Cup against Exeter last month.

Nacewa missed a sustained period of his first few months with Leinster after incurring the injury against the Ospreys in September 2008.

Devin Toner and Fergus McFadden are also unavailable as they were called up to the Ireland training camp this week.

The players who started against England are also being rested but Dave Kearney and Eoin O’Malley are expected to continue their return from injury.

Meanwhile, Leinster lock Tom Denton will go before an independent disciplinary committee today after being cited for a dangerous tackle, contrary to Law 10.4(j), in last Friday’s Pro 12 game against Cardiff Blues.

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