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Johnny Sexton headlines list of departing Leinster players

By Kim Ekin
Johnny Sexton has only played 84 minutes of rugby since November and other Irish stars haven't played much more (Photo By Harry Murphy/Getty Images)

Leinster have confirmed that ten players will be leaving the province at the end of the season, with Ireland captain Johnny Sexton headlining the list.

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It is no secret that the 37-year-old fly-half will be retiring at the end of the World Cup later this year, but he will be joined in retirement by former Ireland win Dave Kearney as well. Sexton boasts the most Leinster appearances on the list and will finish as their highest point scorer. However, with 186 appearances, Kearney was only three behind Sexton’s total.

The 113-cap Ireland No10 has been used sparingly by Leinster in recent seasons, and while he usually comes to the fore during the backend of their campaigns, a groin injury in Ireland’s Grand Slam winning Six Nations campaign has meant he has been sidelined for the remainder of the season. That means his last appearance for Leinster came on New Year’s Day against Connacht, and he has had to settle for seeing his side lose the United Rugby Championship semi-final against Munster and the Heineken Champions Cup final against La Rochelle in back-to-back weeks, although he did not shy away from controversy during the European final in Dublin.

The list was confirmed ahead of the Leinster Rugby Awards this evening, and also contains James Tracy and Charlie Ryan, who were forced into retirement earlier this season due to injury, with the former succumbing to a neck injury and the latter a knee injury.

Here is the list of departing players:
Johnny Sexton (189 caps / 1,646 points)
Dave Kearney (186 / 275)
James Tracy (141 / 90)
Nick McCarthy (62 / 25)
Tadgh McElroy (4 / 0)
Charlie Ryan (0 / 0)
Seán O’Brien (3 / 0)
Max O’Reilly (11 / 10)
Marcus Hanan (4 / 0)
Andrew Smith (2 / 0)

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