Leinster boss Joe Schmidt has hit back at claims that the province have persistently targeted Connacht players after signing Mike McCarthy.
Connacht chief executive Tom Sears was quoted on Wednesday stating that Leinster have frequently targeted players from the Galway province.
"We have been aware of Leinster's interest in Mike for some time. It is disappointing they have persistently targeted Connacht players in recent years, particularly when often not in the best interest of Irish rugby," said Sears.
Fionn Carr, Jamie Hagan and Sean Cronin have all made the move to Dublin in recent times, with McCarthy the latest to join after impressing for Ireland during the November Internationals.
"To claim that we have persistently pursued Mike McCarthy is just false. We had not persistently pursued Mike at all," said Schmidt to The Irish Times.
"I know that if you contact the IRFU they will say that we abided by all protocols. And those protocols set down are very, very clear.
"To be honest I haven't spoken to Mike about any motivations. I had a very brief phone call when he said he was interested and the protocols had been ticked off and I just said to him I was delighted. That's the only contact I've had with Mike.
"[We are] massively disappointed [with the claims], because we have done everything by the book. Mike is certainly not the only Connacht player who has expressed an interest to come to Leinster. That's a natural thing to a degree where there is one team that is consistently performing at the top end.
"We would believe that we have helped Connacht build that team by helping them qualify for Heineken Cup [by winning it] which has got a lot of people excited. I've got the utmost respect for Connacht in the way they have acquitted themselves in the Heineken Cup with a fantastic win over Harlequins and the win last week over Biarritz."