Connacht Academy player Oran McNulty has been named at full-back for Ireland’s U20 Six Nations opener against Scotland tomorrow night.
 
McNulty, who is in Year 2 of the Academy system, is one of four Connacht players in the overall Six Nations squad alongside Joshua Dunne, Diarmuid Kilgallen and Cathal Forde.
 
Ulster Academy back row David McCann will captain Ireland as one of five players who featured during last season’s Grand Slam-winning campaign named in McNamara’s first starting XV of the Championship, alongside Charlie Ward, Thomas Clarkson, Brian Deeny and Thomas Ahern.
 
There is a wealth of experience in the pack with Clontarf loosehead Ward and Ulster hooker Tom Stewart packing down in the front row alongside Leinster Academy tighthead and vice captain Clarkson, who started all five of last year’s Six Nations games.
 
Deeny and towering Munster Academy lock Ahern are named in the second row with Sean O’Brien and Mark Hernan joining captain McCann in the back row to complete the pack, with a further three Ulster players named in the backline.
 
Lewis Finlay starts at scrum-half and continues his exciting half-back partnership with Cork Constitution out-half Jack Crowley, who pulled the strings for Ireland Under-20s in their defeat of Munster Development over Christmas.
 
Ulster Academy centre Hayden Hyde and Dan Kelly, who has come through the IQ Rugby programme, are selected in midfield, with Connacht’s Oran McNulty, Ethan McIlroy and Leinster winger Andrew Smith forming the back three.
 
Hooker John McKee won seven caps during last season’s Six Nations and U20 World Championship campaigns and is the sixth returning player named in Friday’s matchday 23, as he provides front row cover alongside Ciaran Ryan and Ryan McMahon.
 
Joe McCarthy and Alexis Soroka will hope to make a big impact off the bench if called upon, while Ben Murphy, Tim Corkery and Luis Faria complete McNamara’s first selection of the 2020 season.
 
“The players have prepared very well since we first came together before Christmas,” McNamara said. “We had an excellent camp last week in Cork and are looking forward to the challenge that Scotland will bring this Friday night.
 
“Getting back down to Irish Independent Park is exciting for all involved. It’s a fantastic venue, a really fast surface and we’re ready to get the campaign underway in front of a partisan home crowd.”
 
Tickets for Friday night’s visit of Scotland to Irish Independent Park are available here.
 
Ireland Under-20 Team (v Scotland):
15. Oran McNulty (Millfield School / Corinthians RFC / Connacht)
14. Ethan McIlroy (Methody College / Queens RFC / Ulster)
13. Dan Kelly (Kirkham Grammar / Loughborogh University / IQ Rugby)
12. Hayden Hyde (Cranleigh School / Ballynahinch RFC / Ulster)
11. Andrew Smith (St Michael’s College / Clontarf FC / Leinster)
10. Jack Crowley (Bandon RFC / Cork Constitution FC / Munster)
9. Lewis Finlay (Down High School / Malone RFC / Ulster)

1. Charlie Ward (Tullow RFC / Clontarf FC / Leinster)
2. Tom Stewart (Belfast Royal Academy / Ballynahinch RFC / Ulster)
3. Thomas Clarkson (Blackrock College / Dublin University FC / Leinster)
4. Brian Deeny (Wexford Wanderers / Clontarf FC / Leinster)
5. Thomas Ahern (Waterpark RFC / Shannon RFC / Munster)
6. Sean O’Brien (Blackrock College / UCD RFC / Leinster)
7. Mark Hernan (St Michael’s College / Lansdowne FC / Leinster)
8. David McCann (RBAI / Banbridge RFC / Ulster)(captain)

Replacements:

16. John McKee (Campbell College / Old Belvedere / Leinster)
17. Ciaran Ryan (Rockwell College / Cashel RFC / Munster)
18. Ryan McMahon (Clongowes Wood College / Old Belvedere RFC / Leinster)
19. Joe McCarthy (Blackrock College / Dublin University FC / Leinster)
20. Alexis Soroka (Belvedere College / Dublin University FC / Leinster)
21. Ben Murphy (Presentation College Bray / Clontarf FC / Leinster)
22. Tim Corkery (Kilkenny RFC / Lansdowne FC / Leinster)
23. Luis Faria (Newpark Comprehensive / Dublin University FC / Leinster)

More at https://www.irishrugby.ie/2020/01/30/mcnamara-names-ireland-under-20-team-for-six-nations-opener/

The Connacht Eagles management team have named a 26-man squad who will travel to the United States this week for the inaugural Cara Cup.
 
The Cara Cup will see ‘A’ sides from the four provinces head to Massachusetts for a six game tournament spread across four weeks. As well as an inter-pro clash with Ulster A on Wednesday week, the Eagles will take on tournament hosts the New England Free Jacks on the opening day of the competition this Saturday 16th.
 
The Cara Cup follows on from the inaugural Celtic Cup earlier in the season when the four provinces partnered with A squads from the WRU and the SRU for a seven-game tournament.
 
Commenting on the squad announcement, Connacht Eagles head coach Mossy Lawler says the trip will be a great opportunity for players on and off the pitch.
 
“We’re really looking forward to our trip to the States for the Cara Cup. We’ve got a lot of guys with experience and some with inexperience, but ultimately everyone is travelling for a different reason so that’s where we’re going to get our hunger.”
 
“There were a lot of guys who played in the Celtic Cup who have gone on to win their first cap, so the Eagles setup in the Academy is hugely important in terms of up-skilling those players to be able to play at the next level for the province.”
 
 
CONNACHT EAGLES CARA CUP SQUAD
 
Forwards
Declan Adamson, Peter Claffey. James Connolly, Robin Copeland, Jordan Duggan, Cillian Gallagher, Cian Huxford, Conor Kenny, Joe Maksymiw (c), Sean Masterson, Neal Moylett, Jonny Murphy, Conán O’Donnell, Liam Winnett.
 
Backs
Mark Balaski, Luke Carty, Conor Dean, Colm de Buitlear, Conor Hayes, Kieran Joyce, Stephen Kerins, Hugh Lane, Oran McNulty, Sean O’Brien, Corey Reidy, Colm Reilly.
 
CARA CUP ROUND ROBIN FIXTURES (ALL TIMES EST)
 
Saturday March 16
1500: Free Jacks v Connacht Eagles @ Union Point Sports Complex, Weymouth MA
 
Wednesday March 20
1900: Connacht Eagles v Ulster A @ Union Point Sports Complex, Weymouth MA
 
Sunday March 24
1830: Free Jacks v Ulster A @ Union Point Sports Complex, Weymouth MA
 
Saturday April 6
1600: Free Jacks v Munster A @ Irish Cultural Centre, Canton MA
 
Wednesday April 10
1900: Munster A v Leinster A @ Union Point Sports Complex, Weymouth MA
 
Sunday April 14
1700: Free Jacks v Leinster A @ Harvard Mignone Field, Boston MA

Head coach Noel McNamara has announced the Ireland Under-20 team, sponsored by PwC, to face Italy in Rieti on Friday in the third round of the Under-20 Six Nations Championship.
 
The game kicks off at 7pm local time/6pm Irish time and will be streamed live via the Irish Rugby YouTube Channel with thanks to PwC Ireland. There are two changes to the Ireland U-20 side that claimed a 24-5 win away to Scotland last time out.
 
Munster duo Jake Flannery and Jonathan Wren complete the back-three with the centre pairing of captain David Hawkshaw and Liam Turner, the man-of-the-match against Scotland, getting its third successive outing of the tournament.
 
Corinthians hooker Dylan Tierney-Martin, who is chasing his fourth try of the Championship already, features in an unchanged front row with Josh Wycherley and Thomas Clarkson, while Charlie Ryan and Niall Murray, the second Connacht player in the pack, team up again in the engine room.
 
Martin Moloney, Scott Penny and number 8 John Hodnett combine once more in the loose forwards, with back-up provided by Ronan Watters of St. Mary’s College – one of four potential debutants on the bench. Banbridge prop Callum Reid and Munster pair Billy Scannell and Ben Healy are the other players looking to win their first U-20 caps.
 
Speaking ahead of Friday night’s clash with Italy, McNamara said:
 
We’re pleased to have won our opening two games, but the players are ambitious, and they are constantly looking for improvements in their performance, both individually and collectively.
 
“Our previous meetings with Italy have been really challenging encounters, with only one score separating the sides in our past number of games. The down week allowed for the players to get some good recovery in, as well as reviewing the Scotland game and looking ahead to this weekend.
 
“We had a really positive session with the Ireland senior side last Friday at the Aviva Stadium, so the players are now looking forward to getting back into the green jersey on Friday night in Rieti.”

 
IRELAND UNDER-20 Team & Replacements (v Italy Under-20s, 2019 Under-20 Six Nations Championship, Stadio Centro d’Italia, Rieti, Friday, February 22, kick-off 7pm local time/6pm Irish time):
 
15. Jake Flannery (Shannon/Munster)
14. Angus Kernohan (Queen’s University/Ulster)
13. Liam Turner (Dublin University/Leinster)
12. David Hawkshaw (Clontarf/Leinster) (capt)
11. Jonathan Wren (Cork Constitution/Munster)
10. Harry Byrne (Lansdowne/Leinster)
9. Craig Casey (Shannon/Munster)
1. Josh Wycherley (Young Munster/Munster)
2. Dylan Tierney-Martin (Corinthians/Connacht)
3. Thomas Clarkson (Dublin University/Leinster)
4. Charlie Ryan (UCD/Leinster)
5. Niall Murray (Buccaneers/Connacht)
6. Martin Moloney (Old Belvedere/Leinster)
7. Scott Penny (UCD/Leinster)
8. John Hodnett (UCC/Munster)

Replacements:

16. Billy Scannell (Young Munster/Munster) *
17. Callum Reid (Banbridge/Ulster) *
18. Michael Milne (UCD/Leinster)
19. Brian Deeny (Clontarf/Leinster)
20. Ronan Watters (St. Mary’s College/Leinster) *
21. Cormac Foley (St. Mary’s College/Leinster)
22. Ben Healy (Garryowen/Munster) *
23. Rob Russell (Dublin University/Leinster)

* Denotes uncapped at Under-20 level

IRELAND UNDER-20 2019 U-20 SIX NATIONS RESULTS/FIXTURES:

Friday, February 1:

IRELAND UNDER-20s 35 ENGLAND UNDER-20s 27, Irish Independent Park, Cork

Friday, February 8:

SCOTLAND UNDER-20s 5 IRELAND UNDER-20s 24, Netherdale, Gala RFC, Galashiels

Friday, February 22:

ITALY UNDER-20s v IRELAND UNDER-20s, Stadio Centro d’Italia – Manlio Scopigno, Rieti, 7pm local time/6pm Irish time (live Irish Rugby YouTube channel)

Friday, March 8:

IRELAND UNDER-20s v FRANCE UNDER-20s, Irish Independent Park, Cork, 7.15pm (live RTÉ Two)
Click here to buy your match ticket(s) from Ticketmaster.ie

Friday, March 15:

WALES UNDER-20s v IRELAND UNDER-20s, Zip World Stadium, Eirias Park, Colwyn Bay, 7.05pm (live RTÉ Two)

Winger Rory Scholes and flanker James Connolly have returned from injury and are included in Mossy Lawlor’s Connacht Eagles side to face Ealing Trailfinders on Saturday (Kick Off 3pm). Scholes will join a back three that features Academy players Kieran Joyce on the opposite wing and Matt Byrne at full-back.

Out Half Andrew Deegan and Scrum Half Conor McKeon continue their effective partnership that produced back to back wins over Richmond before Christmas.

Connolly joins a strong back row featuring Sean Masterson at blindside and Paul Boyle who captains the side at number 8. It has been a big week for Academy player Boyle who made his debut for the first team in the interpro against Munster in Thomond Park last Saturday.

The two other Academy players who featured against Munster are also included in the pack. Conan O’Donnell will start at loosehead and Cillian Gallagher is in the second row, having made all his appearances for the senior side in the back row since making his debut in October.

 

Kick-off 3:00pm:

(15-9) Matt Byrne, Rory Scholes, Stacey Illi, Kieran Joyce, Adam Leavy, Andrew Deegan, Conor McKeon, (1-8) Conan O’Donnell, Dylan Tierney, Conor Kenny, Peter Claffey, Cillian Gallagher, Sean Masterson, James Connolly, Paul Boyle (Capt)

Replacements (16-22): Callum Torpey, Matt Burke, Conor Kyne, Niall Murray, Ryan Feehily, Luke Carty, Michael O’Reilly.

Members of the NUIG sponsored Connacht Rugby Academy and the Connacht Rugby sub-Academy are fundraising for children’s cancer charity Hand in Hand, this November. The young players are attempting to grow moustaches as part of the annual Movember event to raise funds for the charity.

Hand in Hand offer a range of home support services for families affected by cancer. They help to reduce some of the stress and anxiety by engaging with local professional service suppliers to provide a tailor-made package of care to suit each family individually. As part of the fundraising efforts, Good4U the official Connacht Rugby snack supplier are supporting the Academy players. The Sligo-based company are holding a 5k fun run, in Sligo town to help raise funds for the charity.

 

To make a donation to this worthy cause click here.

 

Here’s how the players have been getting on with their efforts.

 

 

 

Members of the NUIG sponsored Connacht Rugby Academy and the Connacht Rugby sub-Academy are fundraising for children’s cancer charity Hand in Hand, this November. The young players will attempt to grow moustaches as part of the annual Movember event to raise funds for the charity.

Hand in Hand offer a range of home support services for families affected by cancer. They help to reduce some of the stress and anxiety by engaging with local professional service suppliers to provide a tailor-made package of care to suit each family individually.

Academy Manager Eric Elwood is delighted that the players have taken it upon themselves to make a difference in the community and help this very worthy charity. Commenting on the initiative, he said: “The Academy and sub-Academy players showed great initiative to organise this fundraiser. They will all attempt to grow moustaches for the month of November and we will all be watching their progress with great interest! The Hand in Hand charity is a fantastic support service for families affected by cancer and they make a real difference to families in our community. We are delighted to be contributing to the great work being done by the charity.”

Speaking on behalf of Hand in Hand, Service Manager, Jennifer Carpenter, said: “We are delighted to have the support of the Connacht Rugby Academy members; community support like this is the life-blood of the charity – a heartfelt thank you to all involved and best of luck with the moustaches!”

As part of the fundraising efforts, Good4U the official Connacht Rugby snack supplier are supporting the Academy players. The Sligo-based company are holding a 5k fun run, in Sligo town to help raise funds for the fantastic charity. Commenting on their involvement with initiative, a spokesperson from Good4U said: “Dash in a Tash is set to be a bit of fun that people of all ages can get involved with to raise money in support of Connacht Rugby’s charity efforts. We encourage everyone to come along and don’t worry, moustaches will be supplied.”

 

 

Head Coach Mossy Lawler has named the Connacht Eagles side for Sunday’s British and Irish Cup clash against high-flying Ealing Trailfinders at the Sportsground (2pm).

Andrew Deegan, Rory Scholes and captain JP Cooney are among the players drafted into the side.

Once again, the strong selection includes a mix of senior and Connacht Academy players as Ireland international Niyi Adeolokun and Fiji international Naulia Dawai both maintain their places.

Out-half Deegan partners Conor McKeon at half-back with Scholes starting on the left wing as Stacey Ili maintains his place at outside centre.

The Connacht Academy, sponsored by NUIG, is well represented with Matthew Byrne at full back, Kieran Joyce at inside centre, Peter Claffey in the second row, and both Paul Boyle and Harley Fox in the back row.

An all-senior front row sees Denis Coulson and Cooney flank Pat O’Toole with lock Gavin Thornbury partnering Claffey in the engine room.

Scrum-half James Mitchell is set to make his return from injury off the bench with three Academy players among the replacements – out-half Luke Carty, back three player Adam Leavy and prop Conor Kenny.

Ireland U18 internationals Cian Huxford and Callum Torpey (Exile) complete the bench along with Niall Murray, last year’s Connacht U18 Player of the Year.

It is set to be a very tough task against an Ealing Trailfinders side that are flying high in the Championship with five wins from six.

They made a superb start to the B&I Cup campaign thanks to a 67-12 win over Richmond last week and former Connacht out-half Shane O’Leary is among their ranks.

Admission to this game for Season Ticket holders and under-12s is free of charge.

General admission is €5.

Connacht Eagles: Matthew Byrne; Niyi Adeolokun, Stacey Ili, Kieran Joyce, Rory Scholes; Andrew Deegan, Conor McKeon; Denis Coulson, Pat O’Toole, JP Cooney (Capt); Peter Claffey, Gavin Thornbury; Paul Boyle, Naulia Dawai, Harley Fox.

Replacements: Callum Torpey, Conor Kenny, Niall Murray, Cian Huxford, James Mitchell, Luke Carty, Adam Leavy.

 

Connacht Eagles B&I Cup Fixtures & Results

Saturday, October 14

Rotherham 28-23 Connacht Eagles, Clifton Lane;

Sunday, October 22

Connacht Eagles v Ealing Trailfinders, The Sportsground, 2pm;

Saturday, December 9

Richmond v Connacht Eagles, Athletic Ground, 3pm;

Sunday, December 17

Connacht Eagles v Richmond, The Sportsground, 2pm;

Saturday, January 13

Ealing Trailfinders v Connacht Eagles, Trailfinders Sports Ground, 3pm;

Weekend of Saturday, January 20

Connacht Eagles v Rotherham, The Sportsground, TBC;

The fixture details have been announced for the Connacht Eagles fixtures for the forthcoming British & Irish Cup campaign.

Mossy Lawler’s side kick off the competition away to Rotherham on Saturday, October 14, at 2pm in Clifton Lane.

The following Sunday (October 22) an Ealing Trailfinders outfit featuring former Connacht man Shane O’Leary travel to the Sportsground for a 2pm kick-off.

A double-header against Richmond takes place in December with an away trip on Saturday, December 9, and a home clash at the Sportsground on Sunday, December 17.

The Eagles are away to Ealing on Saturday, January 13, before rounding off their Pool 4 fixtures at home to Rotherham on the weekend of Saturday, January 20 (details to be confirmed).

Connacht Eagles B&I Cup Fixtures

Saturday, October 14

Rotherham v Connacht Eagles, Clifton Lane, 2pm;

Sunday, October 22

Connacht Eagles v Ealing Trailfinders, The Sportsground, 2pm;

Saturday, December 9

Richmond v Connacht Eagles, Athletic Ground, 3pm;

Sunday, December 17

Connacht Eagles v Richmond, The Sportsground, 2pm;

Saturday, January 13

Ealing Trailfinders v Connacht Eagles, Trailfinders Sports Ground, 3pm;

Weekend of Saturday, January 20

Connacht Eagles v Rotherham, The Sportsground, TBC;

 

The Connacht Eagles have been drawn in Pool 4 of the British & Irish Cup along with English Championship sides Rotherham Titans, Richmond and Ealing Trailfinders.

The campaign kicks off in October as the Eagles travel to Rotherham in the opener before hosting Ealing later in the month.

A double-header against Richmond takes place in December before the pool stages are rounded off with the return fixtures against Ealing and Rotherham.

Munster A will begin the defence of their B&I Cup title away at Ospreys Select as the southern province and the Ospreys have drawn in Pool 1 along with Nottingham and Bedford Blues.

Last season’s finalists Jersey Reds, who lost 29-28 in Cork, are named in Pool 3, along with Dragons Select, London Scottish and Yorkshire Carnegie.

Hartpury RFC, who have been promoted from National League One to the Greene King IPA Championship, will face Cornish Pirates, Scarlets Select and Ulster A in Pool 5.

Following their relegation from the Premiership, Connacht’s pre-season opponents Bristol Rugby are drawn in Pool 2 along with Cardiff Blues Select, Doncaster and Leinster A.

Pool 1

Bedford Blues

Munster A

Nottingham

Ospreys Select

 

Pool 2

Bristol Rugby

Cardiff Blues Select

Doncaster Knights

Leinster A

 

Pool 3

Dragons Select

London Scottish

Yorkshire Carnegie

Jersey Reds

 

Pool 4

Connacht A

Rotherham Titans

Richmond

Ealing Trailfinders

 

Pool 5

Cornish Pirates

Hartpury RFC

Scarlets Select

Ulster A

 

British & Irish Cup 2017/18 fixtures

Round 1: 13-15 October 2017

Nottingham v Bedford Blues

Ospreys Select v Munster A

Doncaster Knights v Leinster A

Cardiff Blues Select v Bristol Rugby

London Scottish v Dragons Select

Jersey Reds v Yorkshire Carnegie

Rotherham Titans v Connacht A

Ealing Trailfinders v Richmond

Hartpury RFC v Cornish Pirates

Ulster A v Scarlets Select

 

Round 2: 20-22 October 2017

Bedford Blues v Ospreys Select

Munster A v Nottingham

Leinster A v Cardiff Blues Select

Bristol Rugby v Doncaster Knights

Dragons Select v Jersey Reds

Yorkshire Carnegie v London Scottish

Connacht A v Ealing Trailfinders

Richmond v Rotherham Titans

Cornish Pirates v Ulster A

Scarlets Select v Hartpury RFC

 

Round 3: 8-10 December 2017

Munster A v Bedford Blues

Nottingham v Ospreys Select

Munster A v Bedford Blues

Nottingham v Ospreys Select

Bristol Rugby v Leinster A

Doncaster Knights v Cardiff Blues Select

Yorkshire Carnegie v Dragons Select

London Scottish v Jersey Reds

Richmond v Connacht A

Rotherham Titans v Ealing Trailfinders

Scarlets Select v Cornish Pirates

Hartpury RFC v Ulster A

 

Round 4: 15-17 December 2017

Bedford Blues v Munster A

Ospreys Select v Nottingham

Leinster A v Bristol Rugby

Cardiff Blues Select v Doncaster Knights

Dragons Select v Yorkshire Carnegie

Jersey Reds v London Scottish

Connacht A v Richmond

Ealing Trailfinders v Rotherham Titans

Cornish Pirates v Scarlets Select

Ulster A v Hartpury RFC

 

Round 5: 12-14 January 2018

Nottingham v Munster A

Ospreys Select v Bedford Blues

Doncaster Knights v Bristol Rugby

Cardiff Blues Select v Leinster A

London Scottish v Yorkshire Carnegie

Jersey Reds v Dragons Select

Rotherham Titans v Richmond

Ealing Trailfinders v Connacht A

Hartpury RFC v Scarlets Select

Ulster A v Cornish Pirates

 

Round 6: 29 January 2018

Bedford Blues v Nottingham

Munster A v Ospreys Select

Leinster A v Doncaster Knights

Bristol Rugby v Cardiff Blues Select

Dragons Select v London Scottish

Yorkshire Carnegie v Jersey Reds

Connacht A v Rotherham Titans

Richmond v Ealing Trailfinders

Cornish Pirates v Hartpury RFC

Scarlets Select v Ulster A

Connacht Rugby and the IRFU are pleased to announce that Academy players Conor McKeon, Cormac Brennan and Pat O’Toole have all been rewarded with senior contracts for next season.

23-year-old Conor McKeon earns his promotion to the senior squad after three years in the Academy. Having joined the Connacht set up in the summer of 2014, he made his senior and Guinness PRO12 debut away to Zebre that same season. He earned another PRO12 cap from the bench last season before making the switch from outhalf to scrumhalf.

Recently named the Academy Player of the Year, the former Ireland under-20’s international had a standout season with club side Buccaneers who he helped reach the AIL Division 1B title.

Back three player Cormac Brennan from Ballyvaughan in County Clare has been rewarded with a senior contract after two seasons in the Academy. The former Cistercian College Roscrea student has played with Galwegians RFC from a young age and went on to represent the Ireland Under-18’s Schools team in 2013. A student of Law at NUIG, 22-year-old Brennan has trained with the senior squad on a number of occasions but is yet to be capped.

Pat O’Toole will add further competition to the hooker position next season with Tom McCartney, Dave Heffernan and Shane Delahunt all vying for the number 2 shirt. 22-year-old O’Toole from Louisburgh in County Mayo started playing rugby with Westport RFC at six years of age. The former Gaelic footballer was capped at Ireland U19 level and completed two years in the Academy, playing with both the Connacht Eagles and Corinthians RFC.

Commenting on the new contracts, CEO Willie Ruane said:

“The talent coming through from our underage and Academy set up is vital for the future success of Connacht Rugby. It is really exciting for us to have three more young players coming through from the Academy into the senior squad.

“Conor, Cormac and Pat have shown that they have the desire and potential to succeed in a professional set up and we believe they have big futures in the game and with Connacht.”

Former Academy Manager and now Backs Coach for the new season, Nigel Carolan, added:

“I’m delighted for all three players that will take the step in to the professional squad next season. They make it 38 the number of graduates from the programme over the years which is something we’re really proud of.

“Conor has shown his sheer determination and drive to succeed by making the positional move from outhalf to scrumhalf. He refused to give up on his dream of professional rugby and I’m delighted he has got his opportunity.

“Cormac came under our radar when he started playing with Galwegians RFC at underage level. He returned to the province as part of the IRFU and Connacht Rugby’s succession plan and the move has paid off thanks to his own commitment and determination to continuously develop.

“Pat has come right through our pathway from under-15’s level when he was part of our regional development squad in Westport. He is the epitome of our vision of Grassroots to Green Shirts and his move in to the senior squad will provide inspiration for so many of our young lads looking to succeed.

“I’m really looking forward to working with these players at the next stage of their career.”

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