Leinster Rugby: Luke Fitgerald extends stay by one year

Leinster have secured Luke Fitgerald’s short term future after they announced that he has signed with the province for another year.

The Irish international back is currently sidelined with injury and will only return to competitive rugby early in the New Year.

After forcing his way back into contention at Leinster last year, he then missed the end of the season as he underwent surgery for an ongoing neck problem. The 24 year old missed out on Leinster’s Heineken Cup final win, their Pro 12 final loss to Ospreys and Ireland’s tour to New Zealand.

Joe Schmidt, the Leinster head coach said, “We are also delighted that Luke has committed to the province for another year. Luke is an outstanding talent and he has played a major role in Leinster’s recent success.”

Fitzgerald was initially offered reduced terms during his negotiations for a new central contract from the IRFU, thought to be around £150k which was withdrawn after the extent of his injury was made clear. His new contract with Leinster is thought to be less again representing a big drop from the £220k contract he was offered after being part of the 2009 Grand Slam winning team.

The new contract will hopefully give the back a chance to regain fitness before making any decisions ahead of the 2012-13 season. He is thought to be considering a move abroad after being left out of last years World Cup squad and having had his central contract withdrawn. Fitgerald has been linked with a move to England or France, an option that might become appreciably more appealing if he enjoys a productive start to 2013.


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