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Nucifora joy as Sexton pens new deal

 

Johnny Sexton
Johnny Sexton

By Ruaidhri O'Connor

Johnny Sexton has become the latest high profile Ireland international to commit his future beyond the World Cup after he signed a new contract with Leinster and the IRFU until 2021.

The World Rugby Player of the Year will now target a third tour with the British and Irish Lions to South Africa as a realistic goal after deciding to continue his career.

Unlike other centrally funded deals, the release for Sexton's new contract did not include the information that the deal is wholly funded by the IRFU.

Sexton will remain one of the union's top earners with a salary worth more than €500,000 a season plus bonuses and commercial tie-ins. IRFU performance director David Nucifora said in a statement: "Johnny's hunger and drive mark him out as a truly world-class competitor.

"He sets a performance benchmark for those around him and is investing in the development of young out-halves in the Ireland squad while also seeking improvement in his own performance.

"He is a model professional and has been at the centre of a lot of the success enjoyed by Irish Rugby over the past few years."

Meanwhile, Noel Reid could leave Leinster at the end of this season, with Leicester Tigers keen on the centre's services.

The Dubliner, who won one cap for Ireland against Argentina in 2014, is expected to start against Bath at the Aviva Stadium on Saturday in Robbie Henshaw's absence, but knows that he is down the pecking order when everyone is fit. Another midfielder on the move is Tom Daly, who is set to join Connacht on loan until the end of the season.

Meanwhile, Bernard Jackman is on the lookout for a new job after parting company with Dragons 18 months into a three-year deal.

The Welsh region confirmed the news last night and it is understood that the former Ireland hooker was informed on Monday night in the wake of his side's defeat to Northampton Saints.

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