On Saturday we say thanks to Andrew Browne who has dedicated 11 years to Connacht Rugby.

Brownie, for your incredible contribution and everything you’ve done on and off the field, best wishes.

 

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Connacht native Andrew Browne played schools rugby with St Joseph’s Patrician College the Bish and his club Galwegians before joining the Connacht Academy. In April 2007 he made his debut for the senior side and went on to make over 150 appearances for his home province.

He has been at the heart of the development of Connacht Rugby for over a decade and was a central figure in Connacht’s PRO12 Championship winning campaign in 2016.

After 11 years in the senior squad, Browne has announced that he will be finishing his time with Connacht at the end of the current season.

Commenting on Andrew Browne’s announcement, Connacht Rugby CEO Willie Ruane said: “Andrew Browne has been a great player and leader for Connacht on the field and a fantastic ambassador off it over the past 11 years. He is an incredibly resilient character and represents everything that is good about Connacht Rugby and what we aim to achieve. Having come through the school and club game in the province he went on to be a central figure in our PRO12 Championship success in 2016. I would like to thank him for the incredible contribution he has made to Connacht Rugby and wish him well for the future.”

At the final game of the season against Leinster in the Sportsground, supporters will have the opportunity to thank him for the massive contribution he has made to Connacht Rugby.

Experienced lock Andrew Browne comes back into Kieran Keane’s Connacht line up for the Guinness PRO14 clash with in Ospreys in the Sportsground on Friday (Kick Off 7:35pm). Also back from injury and in the starting XV are lock James Cannon and out-half Craig Ronaldson.

With Bundee Aki away on international duty, Tom Farrell and Eoin Griffin form the centre pairing. Likewise, with Kieran Marmion’s absence, Caolin Blade starts at scrum half.

Having recently announced that he will retire at the end of this season, John Muldoon will captain the side from his number 8 position. He will be joined in the back row by Eoghan Masterson at blindside and openside Naulia Dawai.

The back three is made up of Tiernan O’Halloran at full back, with Cian Kelleher and Matt Healy on the two wings.

During the next block of four games, Connacht take on three of their Conference rivals, including a trip to South Africa to take on the Cheetahs. Head Coach Kieran Keane is well aware of the importance of the upcoming fixtures and the need to get off to a good start against the Ospreys. “We are up for this game, we know the importance of it”, he told reporters at the pre-game press conference. “This is a really important block of games for us and will have a big bearing on our PRO14 season. We have a Quarter Final in the Challenge Cup to look forward to later in the season but there is a lot of rugby to play before that, so our focus is firmly on the league at the moment”.

 

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Kick-off 7.35pm:

(15-9) Tiernan O’Halloran, Cian Kelleher, Eoin Griffin, Tom Farrell, Matt Healy, Craig Ronaldson, Caolin Blade, (1-8) Denis Coulson, Tom McCartney, Conor Carey, Andrew Browne, James Cannon, Eoghan Masterson, Naulia Dawai, John Muldoon (Capt).

Replacements (16-23): Shane Delahunt, Peter McCabe, Dominic Robertson McCoy, Gavin Thornbury, James Connolly, James Mitchell, Jack Carty, Pita Ahki.

 

 

 

Ahead of our clash with Ospreys in the Sporstground on Friday (K.O. at 7:35pm), our Medical Team have issued the following Squad Update.

General Report:

A number of players have integrated into team training this week following short and long-term injuries and are likely to be available for selection this weekend versus Ospreys. This includes Finlay Bealham (knee), James Cannon (shoulder), Andrew Browne (achilles), Sean O’Brien (shoulder), Craig Ronaldson (hip), Steve Crosbie (knee) and Cormac Brennan (shoulder).

 

Prop:
Denis Buckley is continuing his rehabilitation from ankle surgery and will be out of action until later this month.

JP Cooney is recovering from hamstring surgery and will be out of action until April.

Hooker:
Pat O’Toole is continuing his rehabilitation for his hamstring injury under the supervision of the medical and performance team and will return to action in mid-February.

Back Row:
Jarrad Butler is recovering from his hand injury and will be out of action until mid-February.

Eoin McKeon is progressing well in his rehabilitation from a calf injury and will return to team training in the coming weeks.

Jake Heenan is continuing his rehabilitation from shoulder surgery and will be out of action until April.

Centre:
Peter Robb is continuing his rehabilitation from his recent hamstring injury and will return to training in the coming weeks.

 

Back Three:

Niyi Adeolokun is progressing well in his rehabilitation from a hamstring injury sustained in the Oyonnax game and will return to team training later this month.

 

Tickets for the game are available here

 

Connacht Rugby are delighted to announce Four Star Pizza as a new official partner with the province and sponsor of Half Time Mini Rugby in the Sportsground.

 

Half Time Mini Rugby is an all-inclusive new initiative which involves teams from U8s up to U12s, all girls teams and Connacht’s Disability Rugby teams playing at half-time of Connacht’s competitive home games in the Sportsground. All 27 clubs in the province will be represented as part of the initiative.

 

Announcing the new partnership, Head of Commercial & Marketing at Connacht Rugby, Brian Mahony said: “We are delighted to welcome Four Star Pizza on board as an official partner of Connacht Rugby. We place a huge emphasis on the development of the domestic club game here in the province. The Half Time Mini Rugby, now sponsored by Four Star Pizza, brings together the club game and our match day experience in the Sportsground.”

 

Brian Clarke, Director of Four Star Pizza commented ‘We are proud to become an official partner of Connacht Rugby and in particular in supporting the youth teams in the province by becoming sponsor of the Half Time Mini Rugby in the Sportsground. We look forward to the season ahead with Connacht Ruby and continuing to bring the tastiest pizza to the province.”

 

Four Star Pizza is a wholly Irish-owned Pizza chain, established in 1988, and operates 49 stores across the island of Ireland, including two in Galway. Four Star Pizza is renowned for its pizza dough which is freshly prepared by hand on site daily by passionate and expertly trained pizza doughologists.

 

The Connacht Rugby medical team have issued the following update ahead of the Connacht V Toyota Cheetahs on Saturday (K.O. at 7:35pm).

Prop:
Dominic Robertson McCoy is recovering from his thumb surgery last week and will be out of action until the end of 2017.

JP Cooney sustained an ankle injury in the Eagles game versus Ealing and will be out of action for a number of weeks.

 

Lock:
Andrew Browne will undergo surgery this week for an ongoing Achilles injury and will return in early 2018.

 

Back Row:
Jarrad Butler has undergone surgery on a knee injury sustained in the game versus Munster and will be out of action for up to 6 weeks.

James Connolly sustained an ankle injury in the game versus Worcester and will be reviewed by a specialist this week following which a course of treatment will be determined.

Jake Heenan is progressing well in his recovery from a knee injury and will return to action in December.

Sean O’Brien is recovering following shoulder surgery and will be out of action until early 2018.

 

Centre:
Eoin Griffin sustained an low grade injury to his calf in the game versus Worcester and is being managed by the medical and performance staff.

Peter Robb is progressing well following his hip surgery and will return to training with the squad in December.

 

Back Three:
Stacey Ili sustained a shoulder injury in the Eagles game versus Ealing and will undergo rehabilitation with the medical and performance teams over the coming weeks.

Cormac Brennan underwent shoulder surgery and will return to action in February 2018.

The Connacht medical team have issued the following update on the squad ahead of the game against The Dragons in Rodney Parade on Friday at 7.30pm.

 

Update on returning players:

Finlay Bealham, Quinn Roux, Caolin Blade and Tiernan O’Halloran all returned to play against the Kings with no ill effects from their recent injuries.

 

Lock:

Andrew Browne is rehabilitating from an achilles tendon injury and will be out of action for a number of weeks.

 

Back Row:

Naulia Dawai will integrate into team training this week as he steps up his recovery from a recent hamstring injury.

 

Sean O’Brien injured his shoulder in the Kings game and will see a specialist this week to determine the extent of the injury.

 

Scrum-half:

James Mitchell is continuing his recovery from a shoulder injury.

 

Centre:

Peter Robb is recovering from hip surgery last week and will be out of action until December.

 

Back Three:

Niyi Adeolokun is continuing his recovery from knee surgery under the supervision of the medical and fitness teams.

 

Connacht fullback Tiernan O’Halloran has won the public vote for March Player of the Month beating off competition from other nominees Andrew Browne and Tom McCartney.

The Galway man tops the Guinness PRO12 stats for total carries and metres made this season. The Irish international started both games last month against Zebre and Glasgow Warriors and has featured in 23 games for his native province this season.

 

 

Connacht Rugby has today unveiled the nominations for the annual end-of-season Awards Ball, taking place this year on April 30th at the Radisson Blu Hotel in Galway.

18 awards will be given out at the ceremony celebrating the season’s achievements at all levels of the game – underage, club, schools, womens and the professional squad.

The Players’ Player as voted by the Connacht senior squad will be awarded on the night as well as the Team Man of the Year, Try of the Year and an award for Outstanding Contribution to Rugby.

The nominees are….

CONNACHT U18 PLAYER OF THE YEAR

Cian Huxford
Hugh Lane
Niall Murray

CONNACHT U19 PLAYER OF THE YEAR

Brian Diffney
Rory Gaffney
Sean Masterson

CONNACHT U18 GIRLS’ PLAYER OF THE YEAR

Sarah Dent
Ellie Dillane
Elizabeth McNicholas

CONNACHT REFEREE OF THE YEAR

Karol Collins
Brian Deighan
Daithi Flood

CONNACHT COACH OF THE YEAR

Patrick Durcan, Castlebar RFC
David Newman, Ballina RFC
Brett Wilkinson, Buccaneers RFC

CONNACHT WOMEN’S CLUB PLAYER OF THE YEAR

Emma Clery, Galwegians RFC
Shannen Lane, NUIG RFC
Anne Marie O’Hora, Castelbar RFC

CONNACHT WOMEN’S PLAYER OF THE YEAR

Grainne Egan
Ciara O’Connor
Anne Marie O’Hora

CONNACHT JUNIOR CLUB PLAYER OF THE YEAR

Dan McCabe, Monivea RFC
Mickey Murphy, Ballina RFC
John O’Brien, Connemara RFC

CONNACHT SENIOR CLUB PLAYER OF THE YEAR

Jordan Conroy, Buccaneers RFC
Lise Soloa, Corinthians RFC
Michael Wells, Sligo RFC

CONNACHT CLUB OF THE YEAR

Ballina RFC
Buccaneers RFC
Sligo RFC

CONNACHT RUGBY ACADEMY PLAYER OF THE YEAR

Cormac Brennan
Marc Kelly
Conor McKeon

CONNACHT RUGBY FORWARD OF THE YEAR

Andrew Browne
Jake Heenan
John Muldoon

CONNACHT RUGBY BACK OF THE YEAR

Jack Carty
Kieran Marmion
Tiernan O’Halloran

 

The Player of the Month Award, in association with Hartmanns of Galway, continues for the 2016/17 season whereby Connacht Rugby supporters will have the chance to vote for the player that impressed them the most in the past month.

Three players stood out to management for their work on and off the field – Tiernan O’Halloran,  Tom McCartney and Andrew Browne.

To vote simply pick your winner via the Twitter poll


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