Connacht Rugby has confirmed that seven new players have been offered contracts with the NUIG Connacht Academy under Nigel Carolan from the beginning of 2015/16 season.

Eoghan Masterson, Ultan Dillane and Caolin Blade all graduated to the senior squad this season after earning valuable game time in the Guinness PRO12 and European Challenge Cup last year.

Of the seven new Academy recruits, Conan O’Donnell, Stephen McVeigh and Cian Romaine played pivotal roles with this year’s Ireland U20s in both the IRB 6 Nations and World Rugby Championship.

The Galwegians RFC trio of Cormac Brennan, Conor Kyne and Conor Lowndes have also been recruited while hooker Pat O’Toole who played for the Connacht Eagles last season joins from Galway club Corinthians.

New Recruits:

  • Cormac Brennan                 Back Three                               Galwegians RFC
  • Conor Kyne                         Loose Head Prop                      Galwegians RFC
  • Conor Lowndes                   Scrum Half                                Galwegians RFC
  • Stephen McVeigh                Back Row                                  Buccaneers RFC
  • Conan O’Donnell                 Tight Head Prop                        Sligo RFC
  • Pat O’Toole                         Hooker                                       Corinthians RFC
  • Cian Romaine                     Lock                                           Buccaneers RFC

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

“It’s great to have such a talented group of players coming into the Academy for the coming season. They were all members of the Sub-Academy system last year so they know what we’re about and the sacrifices that are required in pursuit of their goals of becoming professional rugby players. 

“The aim of the Connacht Academy is to produce future winning professional rugby players for Connacht who will go on to play for Ireland. We are delighted that Robbie (Henshaw) and Kieran (Marmion) are achieving success at national level, but it’s also great for Eoghan (Masterson), Ultan (Dillane) and Caolin (Blade) to have their hard work rewarded with promotion to the Connacht Pro Team this year. We want to see more and more Academy graduates playing for Connacht and Ireland.

Full list of NUIG Connacht Academy 2015/16

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
  • Pat O’Toole                         Hooker
  • Cian Romaine                      Lock

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