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Published: 15:49 | 16/2/16

Henshaw confirms Leinster move

Centre to join province in the summer

Robbie Henshaw is to move to Leinster ahead of the 2016-17 season.

Henshaw announced his departure from Connacht on Sunday but did not disclose where he would be playing his rugby next season.

However, the IRFU has confirmed he will move to Leinster on a three year deal which will run from July 2016 until after the 2019 Rugby World Cup.

Henshaw joined the Connacht Academy in 2012 and went on to make his senior Connacht debut against Cardiff Blues in his first year. His first Ireland cap came during the summer tour of 2013 and to date he has made 17 appearances in Joe Schmidt's side.

"I would like to thank Connacht Rugby, the IRFU and Leinster for allowing me time to consider my future," Henshaw said.

"This has been a long and difficult process and while I am sorry to be leaving Connacht I look forward to the next chapter of my rugby career at Leinster.

"The support I have enjoyed from the fans in the Sportsground and throughout the province is something that I really value and I want to thank them for four great years."

Leinster head coach Leo Cullen added: "We are delighted to have secured Robbie's signature for the next three seasons. Robbie is a huge talent and we have all seen that over the last few weeks and months with Ireland in the RBS 6 Nations and during the World Cup.

"We look forward to welcoming him into Leinster when this season is over and I am sure that our supporters would echo that view."

Ahead of the IRFU announcement, Connacht head coach Pat Lam admitted he did not know where Henshaw would be playing next season.

"He won’t be here. That’s his decision. We are not involved in that. The main one is, the negotiation took place with Robbie’s team with Willie Ruane (Connacht CEO) for us, and with the IRFU. So again that’s totally Robbie’s call,” Lam told reporters on Tuesday.

In total 17 players have signed new IRFU contracts with the province for 2016-17, while Munster lock Ian Nagle will also move to Leinster.

"It is well documented at this stage that Ian took a sabbatical from rugby at the end of the 2013/14 season to pursue educational opportunities most recently at Cambridge University. He has however made a return to rugby with London Irish and was involved last weekend in their win against Worcester," Cullen said of Nagle.

"He is also relatively young at 27 and I think he will add even more experience and competition to an already competitive second row roster.”

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