Four new players linked up with the senior Connacht squad this summer and have been settling into work at the Sportsground and life in the West of Ireland.

26-year-old scrumhalf Ian Porter joined Connacht from Ulster Rugby where he had been a part of the professional set up for three seasons. The Banbridge native will join Ireland international Kieran Marmion, John Cooney, on loan from Leinster Rugby, and Academy scrum half Caolin Blade in the push for the number 9 jersey this year.

21-year-old Shane O’Leary, who was born in Cork and raised in Co. Clare, signed with Connacht from FC Grenoble’s Academy where he spent a season after coming straight from AIL side Young Munster.

O’Leary, who came up against French side Bayonne in last season’s Challenge Cup campaign with Grenoble, has been signed as a centre with goal kicking abilities.  Indeed in 2013, the young back was top points scorer in the IRB Junior World Trophy in Chile, where he represented Canada U20’s, whom he was qualified to play for through his mother’s roots.

South African born lock Quinn Roux has also joined Connacht on loan from Leinster Rugby. The 23-year-old, who weighs in at 120kg, is likely to see some early game time in the opening rounds of the Guinness PRO12 with both second rows Andrew Browne and Aly Muldowney sidelined with short term injuries.

Niyi Adeolokun is another player to watch this season. The talented winger was signed straight from AIL side Dublin University FC. Having excelled at both 15’s and 7’s with Trinity, the 23-year-old caught the attention of provincial coaches and after playing a game with ‘A’ side the Connacht Eagles back in April, he signed on a one-year contract with the senior set up.

Eight weeks into his first professional preseason programme, the young back has impressed coaches with his attitude and work ethic. His fitness and speed are some of his biggest assets and supporters should look forward to seeing him in a Connacht jersey this year.

Earlier this month in Connacht’s first preseason game away to French giants Clermont Auvergne, Adeolokun held his own up against French international Julien Malzieu and showed his potential with a well-worked try in the corner five minutes into his debut for the province.

Players John Cooney and Mils Muliaina are due to arrive in Connacht at the end of the month while Tom McCartney and Bundee Aki will depart New Zealand at the conclusion of their respective ITM Cup campaigns.


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