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Published: 10:16 | 22/3/16

Fanning to leave Leinster

Winger will be released from his contract

Darragh Fanning is to be released from his Leinster contract at the end of the month in order to concentrate on opportunities away from the rugby field.

Fanning made his debut for Leinster against the Scarlets in the PRO12 in September 2013 and has played 34 times for the province.

The 29-year-old finished as joint top try scorer for Leinster last season with six tries, including three in the Champions Cup, but he has decided to pursue his interests away from rugby and will leave the province at the end of the month.

"This wasn't an easy decision to walk away from a sport and a job that I love but I think the timing is right and I want to give everything I have to the next chapter in my life," Fanning told leinsterrugby.ie

"Running out at the RDS in front of the home support is something that I will miss hugely and I am not walking away from it lightly. The Leinster supporters have always been very good to me and I will look back with great memories on a great two and a half years playing for them.

"I'd like to thank everyone at Leinster Rugby for their support over the last number of years and for their understanding over the last few weeks as I came to a decision. But I am very excited about what's in store and I can't wait to get started."

Paying tribute to the St Mary's winger, head coach Leo Cullen said: "Darragh has made a significant contribution during his time here with Leinster and obviously his contribution to the PRO12 win in 2014 and in helping us reach a Champions Cup semi-final last season will not be forgotten.

"Darragh came from St Mary's on trial as a 27-year-old and has grabbed that chance with both hands. He has though found an interest outside of rugby that he wishes to now pursue with all his energy and we respect those wishes.

"Everyone in Leinster Rugby wishes Darragh the very best of luck with his future and thank him for his contribution on and off the field."

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