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Leinster Set To Lose A Key Player While Ulster Miss Out On Victor Vito

Leinster Set To Lose A Key Player While Ulster Miss Out On Victor Vito
Gary Reilly
By Gary Reilly
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Ben Te'o's conversion from rugby league star to impressive Leinster centre has been continuing apace this season. Te'o made the move to rugby union at a less than ideal time for Leinster. His emergence as a key player has been slow and steady with injuries disrupting his initial transition.

However, come the end of Matt O'Connor's reign, Te'o was beginning to show what had been expected of him and he has continued that at the start of this season. It's been an uncomfortable time for Leinster but Te'o has been an undoubted bright spot and with the expected arrival of Robbie Henshaw, fans may have been picturing a dynamic centre partnership between the pair.

Yet that seems increasingly unlikely with reports that Te'o is likely to head for the exit door at the end of this season with clubs from France and England ready to double his wages. Australia coach, Michael Cheika, is also interested in taking him back to the southern hemisphere and the fact that his international allegiance is up for grabs is particularly interesting.


At 28, he would have to wait until November 2017 according to the Irish Times before being eligible for Ireland. That seems very unlikely to happen now but having said that, Leinster's immediate loss may be Ireland's gain in the long run.

The loss of Te'o would be a blow but it would free up a spot for the likes of Garry Ringrose who has been earmarked as a Leinster starter for a couple of years now. It's never a positive to lose quality overseas players but if Te'o's departure gives Ringrose an opportunity then it may turn out to be the best possible news for Irish rugby.

In other, not altogether unrelated news, French rugby publication Midi Olympique were reporting on Monday that La Rochelle are on the verge of signing Victor Vito. The All Black number eight had been widely linked to Ulster who are in the market for a top quality replacement for Nick Williams.

The presence of Vito would be an undoubted boost to the Irish province but it looks like Les Kiss may have to take a look elsewhere with the Top14 side proving once again that France is the big hitter when it comes to attracting the top talent from overseas.


See also: Leinster Have Identified Three Potential New Scrumhalf Signings

See also: The IRFU Are Trying To Start A Provincial Merry-Go-Round Starting With Madigan

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