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Leinster lead chase for superstar Israel Dagg despite interest from France

All Black Israel Dagg has emerged as a transfer target for Leinster but the province face stiff competition for the full-back's signature.

The star 28-year-old, who started on the right wing for New Zealand against Ireland on Saturday, is understood to have met with officials last week while in Dublin for the Aviva Stadium clash.

Zane Kirchner is out of contract at the end of the season and looks likely to move on and the World Cup winner would be a significant coup for Leo Cullen and Leinster.

The deal is far from done, however, with the pacy outside back attracting interest from France, with Toulon one of up to six Top14 clubs chasing his signature.

Dagg would command top-end wages, but the potential departure of Kirchner and the retirement of Luke Fitzgerald has given Leinster room to manoeuvre.

Any deal would be dependent on IRFU approval and the union's performance director David Nucifora may not be impressed with the idea of one overseas signing replacing another.

He blocked a new contract for Springbok Ruan Pienaar at Ulster earlier this season in an attempt to develop Irish-qualified talent, while Australia captain Stephen Moore's move to Munster failed to earn his approval last year.

Dagg will face the Lions in June, but his deal expires at the end of next season.

Belfast Telegraph


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