Leinster contract extension for Zane Kirchner imminent

Isa Nacewa return in player/coach capacity is ‘miles off’ say province

Leinster say Zane Kirchner contract talks are at an advanced stage. Photograph: Ryan Byrne/Inpho

Leinster say Zane Kirchner contract talks are at an advanced stage. Photograph: Ryan Byrne/Inpho

 

Leinster have all but agreed a contract extension with former Blue Bulls and Springbok international Zane Kirchner.

The fullback joined the province in 2013 and although he was circumspect when asked directly about his future, Leinster forwards’ coach Leo Cullen, conceded with a smile, that he thought that player had signed, before adding that talks are at an advanced stage.

That’s not the case though with former Leinster icon Isa Nacewa who was linked in a Sunday newspaper story with a return to the province on a one-year contract in a potential player/coach capacity. The suggestion was that Nacewa could act as cover in both a playing and coaching capacity as so many Leinster players are expected to be away with Ireland at the World Cup later this year and that the province would also be missing Richie Murphy, who is used by Ireland as a kicking/skills coach.

Second Captains

Nacewa spent five years with Leinster, before calling time on his playing career in 2013, to return home to New Zealand whether he took up a position with the Blues in Auckland, focusing on the mental skills of the players. He’s in regular contact with his former team-mates and has often spoken of how much he misses Leinster, an affection that is reciprocated.

Cullen admitted that while that while they were looking at options to offset the heavy drain on their roster during a World Cup, during which time they would play six Pro12 matches, and the huge value that Nacewa would add in whatever capacity, that a potential return was ‘miles off,’ as things stand.

Leinster will find out tomorrow what Ireland squad players will be available to them for this weekend’s trip to Wales where they take on the Scarlets. Luke Fitzgerald, Mike McCarthy, Eoin Reddan, Sean Cronin, Ian Madigan, Cian Healy and Marty Moore could be repatriated but it will depend on Ireland coach Joe Schmidt and his thoughts ahead of a midweek national camp in Belfast.

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