Munster & Ireland scrum half Tomás O’Leary is moving to London Irish on a three year contract.
The 28-year-old will join the club for the 2012/13 season from Munster where he played an integral role in the provinces 2006 & 2008 Heineken Cup triumphs as well as their Magners League successes in 2009 & 2011.
The half back has also been capped 24 times by Ireland most recently against England in Twickenham last Saturday and was one of the outstanding performers in Ireland winning the 2009 Grand Slam. This led to him being named in the original 2009 British & Irish Lions touring squad. However, an ankle injury prevented him from taking part.
London Irish Director of Rugby Brian Smith said: “It is great to be announcing this week, just ahead of our St Patrick’s game, that a current Irish international will be joining us for next season. Tomás will be a fantastic addition to our squad. He is a proven scrum half who has represented his country at the highest level. He will bring with him a wealth of experience and a winning mentality. We look forward to welcoming him to the club this summer.”
Commenting on signing for the Exiles Tomás said: “Joining London Irish presents a new and exciting chapter in my career and one that I am really looking forward to. I have thoroughly enjoyed my time at Munster and the Heineken Cup triumph in 2008 will always remain a highlight. I’m looking forward to working alongside Brian and the coaching team and testing myself in the Aviva Premiership and playing alongside a very talented squad at London Irish. I have been lucky enough to be part of some winning teams at both Munster & Ireland and I hope to have even more success as a London Irish player.”
Born in Cork, Tomás was educated at Christian Brothers College. He is the son of hurling great Seanie O’Leary. He turned his focus to rugby after winning an All-Ireland minor medal with Cork. The exciting scrum half has represented Ireland at Schools level, U21, A and also at 7’s.