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New signings strengthen Blue hand

LEINSTER have confirmed the signings of a pair of Irish qualified forwards in New Zealand prop Michael Bent, 25, and Leeds Carnegie lock Tom Denton, 24, hot on the heels of reaching their third Heineken Cup final in four years.

In addition, flanker Kevin McLaughlin has agreed to a three-year contract extension. Isaac Boss, Gordon D'Arcy, Eoin Reddan and Rhys Ruddock have all signed on for two more years.

Isa Nacewa has signed a one-year extension to his deal, keeping the much loved Aucklander at the club to the end of the season 2013-2014, at least. In total, there are two new signings and 18 contract extensions.

“By swiftly concluding these deals, it enables us to plan ahead and I would like to pay tribute to all those who have assisted in the process,” said coach Joe Schmidt.

“Each of the players have expressed a real enthusiasm to be part of a competitive Leinster squad and it is testament to the hard work of the staff and players - allied with the backing of our growing band of supporters - that has helped make the environment here such a very positive one.”

Bubbling beneath the surface, Andrew Conway, David Kearney and Ian Madigan have also signed two-year extensions, while All-Ireland League recruits Leo Auva'a and Aaron Dundon have done the same.

Club captain Leo Cullen, Fionn Carr, John Cooney, Brendan Macken and Springbok prop Heinke van der Merwe have all agreed one-year deals, while Mark Flanagan and Tom Sexton have signed one-year development contracts.

The good news just keeps on coming. Season ticket sales for the 2012/13 season have passed the 11,000 mark.

New Contracts
2 Years: Michael Bent, Tom Denton.

Extended Contracts
1 Year Extension to 2013/2014: Isa Nacewa.
3 Years: Kevin McLaughlin.
2 Years: Leo Auva'a, Isaac Boss, Andrew Conway, Gordon D’Arcy, Aaron Dundon, David Kearney, Ian Madigan, Eoin Reddan, Rhys Ruddock.
1 Year: Fionn Carr, John Cooney, Leo Cullen, Brendan Macken, Heinke van der Merwe.
1 Year Development: Mark Flanagan, Tom Sexton.