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Cronin set for Leinster switch

Leinster have confirmed Ireland hooker Sean Cronin will join them from Connacht on a two-year deal in the summer.

The 24-year-old has turned in a string of dynamic displays for Connacht over the last 18 months and won his first cap for his country against Fiji in November of 2009.

Cronin played in three of Ireland's four Tests during the autumn internationals and has been included in Declan Kidney's squad for the upcoming RBS 6 Nations.

He will face tough competition from Leinster's current first-choice hooker Richardt Strauss, with his arrival filling a gap left by the retirement of John Fogarty earlier this season.

But Cronin cannot wait to join up with the province, who have impressed in reaching the quarter-finals of the Heineken Cup.

He said: "I am delighted to put pen to paper on a deal to join Leinster this summer and I believe that with the exciting players in the squad, the future looks bright.

"I have been hugely impressed by Leinster's displays both in the Magners League and in the Heineken Cup so far this season and the province's ambitions mirror my own. Hopefully I can establish myself in the squad when I join up in a few months' time.

"I am grateful for the opportunity that Connacht have given me over the last three years to play for a fantastic club.

"They will continue to grow from strength to strength under Eric Elwood and the existing management team, and I will do my utmost to help improve our Magners League standing over the coming months."

Leinster coach Joe Schmidt added: "It's great that Sean has confirmed that he will join us this summer. He is a dynamic and talented front-rower who will add experience at hooker following the retirement of John Fogarty earlier this season."

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