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'Vital piece of the puzzle': Leo Cullen extends his Leinster deal

By Kim Ekin
(Photo by Michael Steele/Getty Images)

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Leinster and the IRFU have confirmed that Leo Cullen is staying put after agreeing to a one-year contract extension at the Irish province. A club statement read: “Leinster have confirmed a one-year contract extension for head coach Leo Cullen.

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“In May last year, Cullen signed a rolling one-year contract extension with the IRFU and Leinster, with the option to extend for a further season at the end of 2021/22. That extension has now been agreed to up to the end of the 2022/23 season.”

Leinster CEO Mick Dawson said: “We offered Leo a two-year contract last year but were very happy to work with Leo to make the situation work for him. It was always our intention, all going well, that we would sit down again and agree to the second year and that has been the case. It has been very straight forward thankfully.

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Game Day – PRO14 Final
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Game Day – PRO14 Final

I’d like to thank Leo for his work and his dedication and indeed thank his wife Dairine, and his wider family, for the support they give to him in allowing him to be the coach that he is. The job that Leo has done in his time as head coach has been excellent and he has with him, a group of coaches and staff that contribute and drive the standards that we have here today at Leinster. 

“They have created a hugely positive environment for the players over the last few years to perform to the best of their abilities. That continuity in our coaching team is a vital piece of the puzzle for us, as well as having someone like Leo who understands the system, our pathway and the importance of the clubs and the schools to the future success of Leinster.”

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IRFU performance director David Nucifora added: “It’s great that Leo has again extended his contract to remain in his role with Leinster. The combined strength of Irish rugby lies in the cohesion and alignment we have with our provinces and with our pathways. Stability in our coaching ranks is a key part of what underpins Irish rugby.”

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Cullen, who won 221 caps for Leinster as a player and was captain of three Heineken Cup-winning squads, was appointed head coach at the start of the 2015/16 season and has led the team to a Champions Cup and four PRO14/URC titles in his time in charge.

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