Connacht Rugby is pleased to confirm the recruitment of five new players to year 1 of the Connacht Academy. Four of the new intake have represented Ireland U20’s in the past year.

Sligo RFC duo Cillian Gallagher and Stephen Kerins and Buccaneers man Conor Kenny all played their part in the first ever Under-20’s side to reach the final of the World Rugby U20 Championship last month.

Academy Manager Nigel Carolan has also drafted in Portumna-born Peter Claffey. Playing with Galwegians RFC, the 6 foot 5 inch lock was capped for the Ireland U20’s during the 2016 U20 6 Nations but missed out on the World Rugby Championship with injury.

20-year-old wing Adam Leavy joins the Connacht Academy from Dublin. The former St Michaels College student was brought into the sub Academy at the beginning of last season and featured for the Connacht Eagles in the British & Irish Cup.

•             Peter Claffey                     Lock                                     Galwegians RFC

•             Cillian Gallagher                Lock                                     Sligo RFC

•             Conor Kenny                     Prop                                     Buccaneers RFC

•             Stephen Kerins                 Scrumhalf                              Sligo RFC

•             Adam Leavy                      Wing                                     Galwegians RFC

Speaking about the upcoming season and new crop of players, Academy Manager Nigel Carolan said:

“It’s fantastic to have such a talented group of players coming into the Academy for the coming season. All five have been a part of our sub-academy programme so they know what to expect in a professional environment.  

“With eight of our Academy players capped in the PRO12 and Challenge Cup last season and six graduating to the senior squad this year, the players can see how close they are to making it to the next stage once they put the hard work in. Our goal in the Academy is to develop more and more players to go on and play for Connacht and Ireland.”

Full list of Connacht Academy 2016/17


Jamie Dever                      Tighthead Prop
Jack Dinneen                     Hooker
Ciaran Gaffney                  Back Three
Marc Kelly                         Back Row
Conor McKeon                  Scrumhalf
Saba Meunargia               Tighthead Prop



Cormac Brennan               Back Three
Conor Kyne                       Loosehead Prop
Conor Lowndes                 Scrum Half
Stephen McVeigh              Back Row
Conan O’Donnell               Tighthead Prop
Ed O’Keeffe                       Back Three
Pat O’Toole                        Hooker
Cian Romaine                    Lock


Peter Claffey                     Lock
Cillian Gallagher                Lock
Conor Kenny                     Prop
Stephen Kerins                 Scrumhalf
Adam Leavy                      Wing






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