Monday 29 May 2017

Leo Cullen philosophical on future of Leinster pair Ian Madigan and Sean O'Brien

Leinster pair Sean O'Brien Ian Madigan have been linked with moves away from the Irish province.
Leinster pair Sean O'Brien Ian Madigan have been linked with moves away from the Irish province.
David Kelly

David Kelly

Leinster coach Leo Cullen is resigned to a prolonged period of transfer speculation swirling around his leading players after Sean O'Brien and Ian Madigan this week admitted that they may not stay beyond this season.

"It's just the time of the year, just part of the business'" shrugged Cullen, who has named Madigan at inside centre to face Ulster in Pro12 action at the RDS tomorrow night.

"When you have really good players, there will be interest and you just go through the process all the time. We want to hold on to our best talent. It will be in the public domain because they are quality players."

Full-back Rob Kearney admitted that the inevitable transfer speculation can be "tedious" as at least a half-dozen team-mates begin negotiating their next contracts.

"The salary cap in England has only come in during the last six months," said Kearney, as English clubs begin to circle the latest Irish talent to come off contract.

"The speculation is part and parcel and it's probably as tedious for everyone outside Leinster as it is within Leinster."

Meanwhile, Jack Conan will be absent for 12 weeks after undergoing further surgery on his troublesome foot while a clutch of IRFU-contracted internationals - including Sean O'Brien, Dave Kearney, Fergus McFadden, Richardt Strauss, Cian Healy and Mike Ross miss out for player management reasons.

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