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McFadden ready to commit his future to Leinster as Healy nears return

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Leinster's Fergus McFadden

Leinster's Fergus McFadden

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Leinster's Fergus McFadden

FERGUS McFADDEN is set to become the latest Ireland star to commit his long-term future to Leinster when he signs a new deal in the coming weeks.

The winger demonstrated his worth to the province in Saturday's derby win over Ulster when putting in a strong performance on his return from a thumb injury.

The Kildare native's current deal expires at the end of the season and, although the new deal has not been confirmed, it is understood that agreement is not far away on what is expected to be a two-year deal. McFadden previously held talks with Leicester Tigers about a move, but said leaving Ireland was not on his radar this time around.

And he insists his native province are on the right track, despite mixed form this season.

"Nothing is set in stone yet," he said. "I love Leinster, yeah. It's a great club, it's been great to me. I've made some good friends, so of course I would (like to stay).

"There's always curiosity about going abroad, to a different set-up, but it's very hard to leave this set-up at the moment with the facilities we have, essentially a new flock coming through after Leo (Cullen) and Brian (O'Driscoll)retired.

"Having gotten over the interim period at the start of the year with injuries, we've gotten results, were in a good place in the league, we're getting by in Europe; I'd like to think in 2015 we can kick on. My priority is to stay at Leinster."

Meanwhile, Cian Healy could return in time for Leinster's pivotal European games against Castres and Wasps.

"He's got his next benchmark examination next Monday and if he comes through that he'll be in the frame," scrum coach Marco Caputo said. "He's making real progress."

Irish Independent