Queensland back-rower Ben Te’o has confirmed he will leave the NRL at the end of the season and has signed with Irish rugby club Leinster.
Queensland and South Sydney back-rower Ben Te’o will leave the NRL at the end of the 2014 season after signing with Irish rugby union.
In a long-speculated move, the 27-year-old inked a two-year contract with Leinster.
His move to the 15-man code will bring to an end an eight-year NRL career which included stints at Wests Tigers, Brisbane and the Rabbitohs.
“I didn’t rush in making my decision on my next career move, and I’m looking forward to the challenge of making the transition to a sport I played as a kid and living in a new country once this season is over,” Te’o said in a statement.
He made seven State of Origin appearances for Queensland and played one game for Samoa at the 2008 World Cup.
Te’o will bring up his 150th NRL match against former club Brisbane at ANZ Stadium on Thursday night.
Te’o hasn’t played rugby union since he was a junior, but that isn’t concerning Leinster coach Matt O’Connor.
“It is something that I dealt with myself as a player but with his professionalism, his physicality and his skill-set, there is no reason why the transition can’t be a success,” O’Connor said.
“Both codes are littered with examples of players that have made the transition and I look forward to working directly with Ben when he arrives.”