Sport Leinster Rugby

Saturday 18 November 2017

England beckons for Leinster's Ben Te'o as he puts international ambitions first


Leinster's Ben Te'o
Leinster's Ben Te'o
Ruaidhri O'Connor

Ruaidhri O'Connor

Leinster will bid to keep in-demand centre Ben Te'o beyond the end of this season but the rugby league convert looks set to favour a move to England to pursue his international ambitions.

A Samoa international in the 13-man code, the back qualifies to play for England through his mother's family.

As a designated project player, Te'o will qualify to play for Ireland in November 2017. The Irish province will have to stump up in order to retain his services, however, with a host of clubs offering to increase the powerful 28-year-old's current salary if he moved to France or England. A number of NRL clubs are also keen to tempt him back to league.

His two-year contract expires in June and, with Leinster also targeting a move for Robbie Henshaw and a scrum-half from overseas, while hoping to retain their out-of-contract Ireland internationals, they may struggle to match offers from abroad.


"I'm very happy here. I'm enjoying my time at a very, very good club that has taught me a lot," he said. "I'm still going through that process so no decisions have been made, I'm going through it with my manager and it's a big decision. So I'm weighing up a few things and should get sorted soon.

"You've got to figure out which game you want to play first and then you go from there. I know I've got a lot of options but I've just got to do what I think is going to be right for my career.

"I'd love to play international rugby. I'm not sure for who, but I'd love to play it. I want to test myself and I love to play in the biggest games, so that's something that will factor into my decision."

Meanwhile, Anthony Foley wouldn't be drawn on the idea of Ian Madigan making the move to Munster although he said he was "open to every idea" with regards to internal IRFU moves.

Madigan's Ireland team-mate Mike Ross has stated his desire to play on for Leinster beyond the end of the season when his contract expires. The tighthead turns 36 this month, but said: "I am quite settled".

Irish Independent

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