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Irish to make "every effort" to keep O'Driscoll at home
Dublin
March 21, 2000

IRFU Vice President Eddie Coleman has asserted that the Union will match any overseas offer - "within reason" - for the services of wonder kid Brian O'Driscoll claims a Dublin newspaper
The hat trick hero of Paris has already roused the interest of both Newcastle and London Irish but Coleman has revealed that the "We (the IRFU) have, in fact, been talking to Brian." He added "It certainly is our preferred option to have players at home and we will do everything we can to ensure that happens."
It is believed that negotiations with O'Driscoll, whose contract, like those of the rest of the Irish squad, is due to expire in June, are at an advanced stage and that he is close to accepting a six-figure sum.
Coleman explained: "We'll make every effort to keep players at home because we want them playing for the provinces in Ireland and the clubs in Ireland.''
Despite the advanced stage of player negotiations Coleman claims nothing has been decided in terms of the coaching and management set up. Warren Gatland's contract ends after he Welsh match in two weeks while manager Donal Lenihan is set to become manager of the Lions.
"Nothing happens officially until after the Welsh match." Coleman said. But with the tour to the Americas scheduled for June he admitted that the Union will have to make decisions "as quickly as we possibly can after the match against Wales. We would want to have it done by early April."

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