Connacht Rugby are pleased to announce the loan signings of hooker Declan Moore and scrum-half Michael McDonald from Ulster Rugby.
The pair will join the province for the 2023/24 season, linking up with the club at the start of pre-season.
Declan Moore joins following an 18-month spell at Ulster, where he first arrived as injury cover from Munster.
Prior to moving to Ireland, the New Zealand born 26-year old was part of the Melbourne Rebels’ squad in 2020 and played for the Sydney Rays in the 2019 National Rugby Championship.
Moore is Irish-qualified with his grandfather from Co. Antrim, while he also has roots from Castlerea in Co. Roscommon.
Michael McDonald was born in Louth before moving to Australia at the age of 13. He came through the ranks at Western Force and was starting scrum-half for Australia in the 2019 U20 World Championship, helping them reach the final.
His performances earned him a contract at the Waratahs where he made four Super Rugby appearances in 2020. He then re-joined Western Force for two seasons before moving to Ulster last summer.
Head coach Pete Wilkins says:
“Declan and Michael’s arrival next season gives us further depth in two specialist positions. They’re both excellent players who are hungry for an opportunity, and their respective qualities will make them real assets to Connacht Rugby. Having four hookers and three scrum-halves, coupled with the exciting talent we have emerging through our Academy, gives us excellent competition for places that will further drive the development of our squad.”