O’Driscoll signs new Ireland deal

Ireland and Leinster captain Brian O’Driscoll has signed a new deal with club and country until 2011. His previous agreement saw him commit to Ireland and his province until the end of the World Cup in 2007.

The agreement with the Irish captain is part of ongoing contractual negotiation by the Irish Rugby Football Union with international and provincial players.

“When I sat back and thought about it, it was not a difficult decision to make,” said the 27-year-old. “I have spent my entire professional rugby career with Leinster and it has always been an honour and a privilege to wear the blue jersey. I am happy with the coaching set up that we have here and when you look at the quality of players in our squad, I did not see any reason to leave.”

“We have set ourselves goals for this season and beyond and I want to remain part of those plans for the future.”

O’Driscoll has won 65 caps and was voted as the player of the tournament in this year’s Six Nations.

“The policy of the IRFU has always been to endeavour to keep our leading players in Ireland where their well being can be carefully managed,” said IRFU chief executive Philip Browne.

“The news of Brian’s commitment comes at a very important time as we build to next year’s Six Nations and the rugby World Cup.”