Wednesday 28 September 2016

Matt O'Connor confirms that Isa Nacewa deal is close: 'He's too good not to pursue'

Published 21/04/2015 | 15:14

Isa Nacewa, Leinster, celebrates with the cup in 2013. Celtic League Grand Final, Ulster v Leinster, RDS, Ballsbridge, Dublin. Picture credit: Stephen McCarthy / SPORTSFILE
Isa Nacewa, Leinster, celebrates with the cup in 2013. Celtic League Grand Final, Ulster v Leinster, RDS, Ballsbridge, Dublin. Picture credit: Stephen McCarthy / SPORTSFILE

Leinster boss Matt O'Connor has confirmed that a deal to bring Isa Nacewa back to Leinster should be concluded in the coming days.

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Nacewa, who turns 33 in July, has not played competitively since he left the province in May 2013 but has been acting as mental skills coach with the Blues in Super Rugby since then.

There have a been a few complications in ironing out the deal but it should be confirmed later this week.

"Yeah, it’s a couple of days away hopefully,”O'Connor said at Leinster HQ this afternoon. “It should be out there within that timeframe.”

“We’ve lost a lot of experience out of the changing room and there’s the World Cup dynamic in relation to how many bodies we lose and what positions we lose is a little bit of an unknown.

“We won’t know that until September, so to have a guy of the quality of Isa off the field and also his ability and his versatility on the field, was probably too good not to pursue.”

Leinster must beat Ulster on Friday evening to give them any chance of qualifying for the Pro12 but will be without Fergus McFadden, who is out for the remainder of the season with a fractured thumb, and Kane Douglas, who is due to undergo surgery on his back.

Cian Healy and Marty Moore both suffered shoulder injuries in the 25-20 defeat to Toulon in Marseilles on Sunday but the severity of their knocks are unknown.

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