Leinster have signed Newcastle Falcons fly-half Jimmy Gopperth on a two-year deal, as the Irish province plan for life after Jonathan Sexton.
The New Zealander is a highly-rated fly-half, having joined Newcastle Falcons three seasons ago. He has scored 719 points in 70 appearances for the English club side but also boasts a large amount of Super 14 experience.
Gopperth played for New Zealand club sides Blues and Hurricanes and has also represented the All-Blacks Junior side.
Gopperth played a major part in New Zealand’s victorious Under-21 World Cup-winning side of 2004 and also won the Pacific Nations Cup with the Junior All Blacks. Gopperth also represented Wellington and North Harbour in the Air New Zealand Cup.
Leinster head coach Joe Schmidt expressed his delight at the signing of the 29-year-old out-half.
Commenting on the move, Leinster Head Coach Joe Schmidt said: “We are delighted that Jimmy has put pen to paper on a deal and we believe that he will be an excellent foil for Ian Madigan, bringing added depth and experience to the out-half position when he joins this summer.
“Even though Newcastle have struggled in recent years, he has been a hugely consistent performer during his time in England where he won back-to-back Premiership Golden Boot awards.”
Gopperth is a big-signing for Leinster and the Irish province will hope he can fill the void that Jonathan Sexton will leave when he joins French Top 14 side Racing Metro in the summer.