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BOD out as Blues plan perfect send-off for Schmidt

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16 May 2013; Leinster's Brian O'Driscoll during the captain's run ahead of their Amlin Challenge Cup final against Stade Francais on Friday. Leinster Rugby Captain's Run, RDS, Ballsbridge, Dublin. Picture credit: Matt Browne / SPORTSFILE

16 May 2013; Leinster's Brian O'Driscoll during the captain's run ahead of their Amlin Challenge Cup final against Stade Francais on Friday. Leinster Rugby Captain's Run, RDS, Ballsbridge, Dublin. Picture credit: Matt Browne / SPORTSFILE

16 May 2013; Leinster head coach Joe Schmidt, left, and captain Jamie Heaslip during a press conference ahead of their Amlin Challenge Cup final against Stade Francais on Friday. Leinster Rugby Press Conference, RDS, Ballsbridge, Dublin. Picture credit: Matt Browne / SPORTSFILE

16 May 2013; Leinster head coach Joe Schmidt, left, and captain Jamie Heaslip during a press conference ahead of their Amlin Challenge Cup final against Stade Francais on Friday. Leinster Rugby Press Conference, RDS, Ballsbridge, Dublin. Picture credit: Matt Browne / SPORTSFILE

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16 May 2013; Leinster's Brian O'Driscoll during the captain's run ahead of their Amlin Challenge Cup final against Stade Francais on Friday. Leinster Rugby Captain's Run, RDS, Ballsbridge, Dublin. Picture credit: Matt Browne / SPORTSFILE

LEINSTER are hunting their first piece of silverware this evening as the perfect send-off for coach Joe Schmidt.

The boys in blue face Stade Francais in the Amlin cup final at the RDS.

It will be the penultimate game for Schmidt, who is taking over the Ireland team.

While there were hopes of a return this evening for Brian O'Driscoll, coaching staff decided not to take a chance with his back injury.

But BOD confirmed yesterday that he would stay on for one more year with Leinster.

The centre's contract, which was due to expire this summer, has been extended until the end of June next year.

O'Driscoll may also be fit enough to play in Leinster's other final in the Rabodirect Pro-12 next Friday and he is also going on tour with the Lions over the summer.

The loyal fans of the provincial side are holding back until the final match before they say their final goodbyes to their coach.

"We have something planned for Joe for after the Rabo final, as it's now our last game of the season," sources at the Supporters Club told the Herald.

Fans had difficulty getting their hands on tickets for the Amlin and Pro-12 finals in the RDS over the next two Fridays.

Thousands of optimists had purchased tickets for the Heineken Cup final in the Aviva.

Despite the disappointment of not having an Irish side in the final, tourism figures will swell with the massive number of French supporters going to the Aviva.

Dublin Chamber of Commerce estimated that €21m will be spent by overseas visitors alone; organisers expect some 50,000 spectators for the final between Clermont Auvergne and Toulon.

clairemurphy@herald.ie


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