I think there's a lot of wishfull thinking on a lot of people's part who'd like to see Leinster (a lot mor so than Ireland) lose players such as Heaslip and O'Driscoll.
If Heaslip did do a stint abroad, primarily, it would NOT affect his international career, no more than Tommy Bowe, Heaslip is arguably the best player in the world in his position, and he is the Irish captain in waiting for when O'Driscoll retires. It's simple really, after the world cup, Heaslip will be offered a pay increase he would not get anywhere else in the world (except Touloun) and he will be made the Irish and Leinster captain. Rocky Elsom was brought back under similar bribary.
As for O'Driscoll, I don't think he will leave Leinster until he is ready to retire, which may well be after the world cup, but if he does a season or two abroad, it'll be a lot more about seeing the world and experiencing rugby abroad than leaving Leinster, he'll wind down for a season or two abroad maybe to finish his career, but he's achieved absolutely everything in Irish and European rugby, so I don't blame him.
I think from a Leinster point of view (god forbid - if there was EVER a time to say this) it would probably be the right time for O'Driscoll to go. There's a new era at Leinster and too many superb players coming through, it's interestnig the article points out the "Irish" academy system, but at Leinster, where 90% of the Irish talent is coming from, it's hard to expect the older guys to stay on forever when so many gifted players are coming through...who knows, by the next world cup, maybe Brendan Macken will be the greatest centre in the world, with McFadden at 12, O'Malley on the bench, Conway on the wing etc. etc. ... over half of the current Leinster squad are all academy graduates, and we've got to keep giving the youth a chance, and I think after the world cup we'll see a new, an in my opinion, far superior Leinster generation coming through, and looking at youth systems all over Europe, and where the top players are all coming from ineach national side, and the age of current first 15's, it's hard to see Leinster not being at the very fore front of European Rugby for the next decade and beyond.