Wednesday 22 November 2017

Jamie Heaslip reveals that contract talks have "dragged" but are no distraction

Jamie Heaslip
Jamie Heaslip

Jamie Heaslip has revealed that he hoped to have his contract situation done and dusted before now.

Number eight Heaslip remains the Irish Rugby Football Union's chief target to tie down to a new contract, the 30-year-old having fielded offers from Toulon and Montpellier and having met with officials from Toulon over the festive period.

“Unfortunately there is a business side to the game that people are sometimes not aware of,” he told Irish Rugby TV.

“There has been a lot of talk about a lot of different  players in terms of their contracts.

“Unfortunately it has dragged out a lot longer than I wanted and it seems to be ongoing. It hasn’t been a distraction for me.

“I have an agent to deal with that and I can concentrate on playing rugby and that’s what I’ve been doing and he’ll do his job and I’ll do mine.”

French newspaper Midi Olimpique claimed on Monday that Heaslip had turned down overtures from Toulon and was ready to sign a new two-year deal to stay at Leinster but those reports are believed to have been premature.

Heaslip also spoke of his delight at the return of his Leinster team mate Richard Strauss to action in last week’s Heineken Cup win over the Ospreys following heart surgery last October.

“It was great to see Richardt out there, I call him the little hobbit. He sits beside me in the changing room,” he added.

“It was good to see him get back training with us over the past couple of weeks and he was delighted to get back on the field after everything that transpired for him over the last couple of months.

“I think he was taken aback by the standing ovation he received when he took to the field.”

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