Monday 22 January 2018

Leinster sign New Zealand out-half Jimmy Gopperth on two year deal

Cormac Byrne

By Cormac Byrne

Leinster have announced the signing of out-half Jimmy Gopperth with the New Zealander joining the province from the Newcastle Falcons this summer on a two-year deal.

With Johnny Sexton leaving for Racing Metro at the end of the season, Gopperth has come in to provide cover for rising star Ian Madigan.

The fly half has a lot of Super 14 experience with 363 points in 53 outings for the Blues and Hurricanes and starred for New Zealand's second-string national side, the Junior All Blacks, in winning the Pacific Nations Cup.

Having helped steer New Zealand to victory in the Under-21s World Cup final back in 2004, Gopperth played in the Air New Zealand Cup for Wellington and North Harbour, adding value with his accurate goal kicking and dynamic play making.

The 29 year old joined the Newcastle Falcons three seasons ago and to date has scored 719 points in 70 appearances.

Commenting on the move, Leinster Head Coach Joe Schmidt said: “We are delighted that Jimmy has put pen to paper on a deal and we believe that he will be an excellent foil for Ian Madigan, bringing added depth and experience to the out-half position when he joins this summer.

"Even though Newcastle have struggled in recent years, he has been a hugely consistent performer during his time in England where he won back-to-back Premiership Golden Boot awards."

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