Craig Ronaldson has signed a two-year professional deal with Connacht Rugby.

Named as last season’s AIL Division 1A Player of the Year and finishing as the Ulster Bank League’s highest points scorer (206 points in 16 games), Ronaldson made the move from Lansdowne RFC to Connacht during the summer.

With the Irish province, he has racked up a string of impressive performances, playing in all but one of Connacht’s games this season. His first start in the number 10 jersey came against Ospreys in round 4 of the PRO12. The 23-year-old then went on to get his first taste of the Heineken Cup, starting at inside centre in both pool games against Saracens and Zebre.

Last year, the former Kilkenny College captain started at outhalf for the Ireland Club team and  landed six of his seven shots at goal in the 30 – 20 victory over England Counties.

Ronaldson said:

“I’m absolutely delighted to have been given the opportunity to extend my stay at Connacht. I’ve enjoyed every minute of my time here since I arrived last summer and I’ve been made feel very welcome by everyone. I’m learning so much from this environment and am fortunate to be working closely with the likes of Dan (Parks) and Miah (Nikora) to improve my game.

 “I’m really looking forward to developing further as a player with the help of Pat and the coaching staff in what is a really exciting period for us all at Connacht.”

Head Coach Pat Lam added:

“Craig is a talented young Irish player who has earned his opportunity in the professional game. He has demonstrated through his performances in games and commitment in training that he has huge potential.

“Making the step up this year from the AIL and playing big games at both 10 and 12, Craig has shown that he has the appetite and ability to thrive in a professional environment. He is extremely hard-working and through his willingness to learn, I have no doubt that, here at Connacht, he will continue to develop his unquestionable talent and fulfil his potential.”

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