Leinster sign up Aussie ace in bid to stay at the top
Australian lock Kane Douglas says he is relishing the chance to add to the Leinster success story.
The capture of the younger brother of rugby league prop Luke Douglas underlines Leinster's determination to replace quality with more of the same.
With captain Leo Cullen – whose appointment as Leinster's forwards coach was formally ratified yesterday – retiring after the PRO12 final against Glasgow on May 31, the province wanted a man of similar calibre to fill the resultant vacancy.
The 14 times-capped 6ft 7ins (2m), 18st 7lbs (122kg) Wallaby, who turns 25 on June 1, fits the bill perfectly and he will be on his way to Dublin from NSW Waratahs when his Australian Rugby Union contract expires later in the year.
He will be teaming up with existing Leinster engine-room stalwarts Devin Toner, Mike McCarthy and Quinn Roux.
Douglas said: "I've had plenty of time to weigh lots of things up and the time is right for me and my partner to experience something new and totally different. We are heading for a new challenge in life and that's what excites us.
"Leinster is a massive club in Europe with a proud tradition and I'm really looking forward to doing my bit to add to the team once my commitments are done here in Australia," he added.
Welcoming his fellow Australian on board, Leinster coach Matt O'Connor said: "We are delighted to be able to formally announce Kane's signing. For a young guy he already has a wealth of rugby knowledge and experience under his belt and we also feel that he has the right character to succeed at Leinster."
And another Australian – former Wallabies hooker Marco Caputo – is joining Leinster as scrum coach.
The PRO12 champions have also confirmed that home-grown assistant coach Richie Murphy, the former Leinster outside-half, has signed a contract extension. Responsible for skills and kicking, he will also be seconded to the IRFU in that role.