Nigel Carolan has added Limerick born back Ed O’Keeffe to the Connacht Academy ahead of the start of the 2015/16 season.

The 20-year-old who played his club rugby with Young Munster RFC has been with the Connacht sub-Academy during pre-season and has impressed coaches to earn the promotion.

Having played under 18’s, 19’s and 20’s with Munster, O’Keeffe was also capped for the Ireland Club XV side against Scotland in January 2015. He made his first appearance in a Connacht jersey at Thomond Park last weekend lining out for the Connacht 7’s side that finished 3rd at the Limerick World Club 7’s. O’Keeffe, part of a 12-man squad, played in five out of the six games over the two-day event.

Commenting on the move to Connacht, Ed said:

“I’m delighted to get this opportunity and would like to thank Mossy (Lawler) who I have worked with in Limerick and also Nigel (Carolan) for offering me a trial earlier in the summer. The training has been tough but this is what I want to do – training three times a day in a professional environment.

“I’ve really enjoyed getting to know all of the lads, and it’s good to catch up with the likes of Rory Parata and Jack Dinneen who I would have played against at school.  

“The sevens’ tournament last weekend was an amazing experience. It was my first run out with Connacht and to share the field with some of the senior players was brilliant. Pat (Lam) gave us a lot of time in meetings and between games and it’s a huge motivation to see how close you can be in the Academy to a call up to the senior side once you put the work in.”

Academy Manager Nigel Carolan added:

“Ed has earned this Academy contract after coming in for a trial and showing he has the potential to make it as a pro. Mossy earmarked him as someone who would fit well into our system and we’re very pleased to have him join us officially.”

The addition of O’Keeffe brings the number of players in the Connacht Academy to 21:

YEAR 3

  • James Connolly                         Back Row
  • Jamie Dever                              Tight-Head Prop
  • Saba Meunargia                        Tight-Head Prop
  • Rory Moloney                             Back Row
  • Sean O’Brien                              Back Row/Lock
  • Rory Parata                                Centre
  • Jacob Walshe                             Loose-Head Prop

 

YEAR 2

  • Shane Delahunt                         Hooker
  • Jack Dinneen                             Hooker
  • Ciaran Gaffney                           Back Three
  • Marc Kelly                                  Back Row
  • Conor McKeon                           Outhalf
  • Peter Robb                                 Centre

 

YEAR 1

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

 

 

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