Mike McCarthy to leave Leinster at the end of the season

The Ireland international will join Narbonne in the Pro D2

Mike McCarthy to leave Leinster at the end of the season

Mike McCarthy Mandatory Credit ©INPHO/Donall Farmer

Ireland forward Mike McCarthy is to leave Leinster at the end of the season.

The 35-year-old is to join Pro D2 side Narbonne. He has signed a two-year contract with the south-coast side. They announced the deal this afternoon.

Narbonne are currently in eleventh place in the French second tier, with 12 wins from their 23 games. The team currently boasts the likes of former Australian internationals Brett Sheehan and Huia Edmonds in their squad.

McCarthy joined Leinster in 2013, and won the PRO12 in his first season with the province. He also played 20 times for Ireland, with his last appearance coming in Paris last year in the Six Nations.

This season, McCarthy has played 12 times for Leinster, most recently against Scarlets last weekend. In 75 appearances for the province, he has yet to score a try.

Speaking after the announcement was made for his impending move, McCarthy said it was an opportunity he could not let pass.

"This is an excellent opportunity for me and for my young family and I am really excited for the challenge with Narbonne. There is a lot of ambition amongst the President and coaching team to rebuild this historic club and I'm really looking forward to playing a part in achieving this."

Head coach Leo Cullen, called McCarthy "a key figure in the dressing room".