O’Brien considers French move
Ireland flank Sean O’Brien has admitted that he will consider continuing his career in France when his Leinster deal expires at the end of the season.
As one of Ireland’s top players and a member of this year’s series-winning British and Irish Lions side, O’Brien is expected to receive numerous offers from some of the world’s wealthiest clubs.
Racing Metro and Clermont are reportedly willing to splash the cash to secure O’Brien’s signature and the 26-year-old admitted he will consider a switch to Top 14 rugby.
"It is something that I would have to consider. At the minute, I am playing for Leinster and Ireland and I love playing for both sides. That's where I want to be. I have to take into consideration my best interests. I have to look after me. There is a bit of a grey area there," he told Newstalk.
His Ireland and Leinster teammate Jamie Heaslip’s contract also expires at the end of the season.
Ireland flyhalf Jonathan Sexton, who made the move from Leinster to Racing Metro earlier this year, said it would be a blow to Irish rugby if the duo were to leave for France.
"It might [be] contradictory because I left to play elsewhere, but I hope guys like Jamie and Sean get tied into long-term contracts in Ireland, even if it was a possibility that they'd be joining the club that I am at. I'd still hope that they stay here. It's better for Irish rugby if they stay here," he told RTE.
"There are some very important players to Irish rugby who are out of contract at the end of the season. I hope they sit down with these guys and get it sorted before it gets messy. They could do it now before there are other clubs sniffing around. They could have done it a few weeks ago," he added.