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Falcons to lose key man Gopperth
11:13am Tuesday 5th March 2013 in Sport
REIGNING European champions Leinster have announced the signing of Newcastle fly-half Jimmy Gopperth.
The New Zealander has agreed a two-year deal and will move to Dublin from the Championship club this summer.
Leinster’s move for Gopperth comes after current number 10 Jonathan Sexton secured a lucrative switch to French club Racing Metro, starting next season.
Gopperth, 29, has scored more than 700 points for Newcastle.
He played Super Rugby with the Blues and Hurricanes in New Zealand before heading to England.
Leinster head coach Joe Schmidt said: ‘‘We are delighted that Jimmy has put pen to paper on a deal.
‘‘We believe that he will be an excellent foil for Ian Madigan, bringing added depth and experience to the out-half position when he joins this summer.
‘‘Even though Newcastle have struggled in recent years, he has been a hugely consistent performer during his time in England, where he won back-to-back Premiership Golden Boot awards.’’ Newcastle rugby director Dean Richards added ‘‘Jimmy has been a fantastic servant for the club, and I would like to wish him all the very best for the future.
‘‘In the meantime, Jimmy is fully focused on helping Newcastle achieve its goal of gaining promotion back to the Premiership.
‘‘By moving to Leinster, Jimmy will get the opportunity to play Heineken Cup rugby next season.
‘‘Leinster is a club with rich history and tradition, and I am pleased for Jimmy that he will get the chance to test himself at the very highest level.’’
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