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Page last updated at 15:04 GMT, Thursday, 3 February 2011

Ireland trio sign new contracts with IRFU

Brian O'Driscoll
Brian O'Driscoll began his career in Ireland in 1999

Ireland trio Brian O'Driscoll, Jamie Heaslip and Jonathan Sexton have all agreed new contracts to remain playing in Ireland.

O'Driscoll will continue to play with Leinster until the end of the 2012-13 season, with Sexton also playing for Leinster and Ireland until June 2013.

Heaslip, also a Leinster player, is now contracted until June 2014.

IRFU chief executive Philip Browne said O'Driscoll had shown "unwavering professionalism and commitment".

"While being equally delighted at both Jamie and Jonathan's decision to sign new contracts, I feel I need to make a special mention about Brian O'Driscoll.

"He is the perfect example to all young players, showing how the Irish system provides support for natural talent and can have a positive influence on their development and potential by remaining playing here in Ireland," said Browne.

Irish coach Declan Kidney said the contract agreements were "great news" for Irish rugby.

"All three players have key roles to play for province and country," said Kidney.

"The benefit to the Irish team to have these players remaining in Ireland cannot be understated and I'm delighted to see that they have made this commitment," he added,

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