Connacht Rugby and the IRFU are pleased to announce the recruitment of Leinster lock Ben Marshall for next season.

The 24-year-old second row-cum-back row forward is a graduate of the Leinster Academy and has enjoyed a breakthrough to the senior team, earning 10 of his 20 senior caps this season, including an appearance in the European Champions Cup semi-final defeat away to eventual champions Toulon.

A mainstay in the Leinster ‘A’ side before he transitioned to the senior side, Marshall also has 10 Ireland Under-20 caps.

The former St Andrew’s College player made his Leinster debut in the 2011/12 season when he came off the bench to replace Sean O’Brien in a 30-13 away win over Ulster at Ravenhill.

Commenting on the new signing, CEO Willie Ruane said:

“We’re delighted to have Ben joining up with us next season. He is a very exciting, young Irish player and we believe he will add a lot of value to our squad. We’re looking forward to welcoming him in the pre-season.”

Ben Marshall said:

“The opportunity to join Connacht is one that I am very much looking forward to. The ambition excites me and I can’t wait to get started and to add to the mix. They have a good selection of second rows already but I look forward to putting my hand up for selection. 

“I played in The Sportsground a few years back and it’s not unlike the RDS Arena in many ways. The supporters are right on the pitch and it makes for a brilliant atmosphere. I’m looking forward to running out there and having them with me for a change!”

Head Coach Pat Lam added:

“It’s great to have someone with Ben’s versatility joining our squad next season. He is a young player whose talent has already been recognised internationally as highlighted by his inclusion in the Ireland squad for this week’s game against the Barbarians and also the Emerging Ireland squad.

“I have no doubt that he will fit in well within our culture and make the most of the opportunity to continue his growth and compete for a starting spot up front.”

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