|New recruits for the Connacht Academy|
The Connacht Academy has produced another crop of professional players with the promotion of second-row Mick Kearney and prop Denis Buckley to the senior squad. This has paved the way for new recruits to be added to Nigel Carolan’s Connacht Academy.
Finlay Bealham, Jamie Dever, Jonathan Gardiner, Ultan Dilane and Robbie Henshaw have all joined year one of the academy which has produced a string of talent in recent years.
Loose-head prop Finlay was part of the sub academy last year. He played a number of ‘A’ matches for the province last season and made the bench for the Connacht v Munster match. Hailing from Canberra, Australia with an Irish father, Finlay played for Ireland U20 in the 2010/11 season.
Jamie Dever is a tight-head prop from Westport, Co. Mayo. Educated in Rice College, he has represented Ireland at U18 and U19 level.
2nd-row/back-row Jonathan Gardiner is from Carmarten in Wales where he was contracted to the Llanelli Scarlets Academy before moving the Leciester Tigers Academy. With Wexford and Cork parents and at 6’5 and 110kg, Jonathan is a powerful, athletic forward with a very bright future ahead of him.
Tralee RFC’s Ultan Dilane has played for Ireland U18 and U19. At 6’6 the towering second row has already made a big impact at training.
Versatile back Robbie Henshaw has been a star player for Buccaneers RFC. Schooled in Marist College, Athlone he has represented Ireland at U18 and U19 level.
The Connacht Academy has flourished under the direction of Nigel Carolan, producing stars such as Eoin Griffin, Ronan Loughney and Tiernan O’Halloran in recent years and this year’s crop of players look set to continue that trend. Speaking about this year’s academy Nigel said: “I’m very excited about the season ahead. The British & Irish Cup will provide some great challenges for a lot of the academy lads who will be playing with the Connacht Eagles. We have some exceptional talent coming through the ranks and it’s up to us to help nurture and develop those players so they can make the most of the challenges that await them.”
Full list of Connacht Academy Players 2012/13
pictured (above right) is winger Conor Finn who has returned to preseason training following his involvement in Ireland's U20 World Championship in South Africa and (above) Jonathan Gardiner, Kevin O'Byrne and Aaron Conneely with recent gradutaes Denis Buckley and Mick Kearney
|Last Updated ( Friday, 27 July 2012 09:44 )|