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Heaslip stays

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JAMIE HEASLIP has delivered a major boost to Leinster and Ireland by signing a three-year deal with the IRFU.

"Leinster is where I wanted to continue playing and I am happy that the process is now at end," he said.

Just a week ago, Leinster were contemplating the prospect of life without Heaslip and Seán O'Brien.

The 30-year-old Heaslip (left) played the waiting game before accepting an offer that will keep him at Leinster until the summer of 2017. The mass exodus of Irish players forecasted after Jonathan Sexton's exit to Racing Metro has not happened.

It remains to be seen whether French clubs will turn their backs on Irish players for using the Top-14 as nothing more than a bargaining tool.

There was some bad news yesterday. Munster wing Keith Earls will play no part in the Six Nations as he has been ruled out of action for six to eight weeks with medial knee ligament damage.

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