Connacht Rugby have confirmed that back row Eoin McKeon is the latest player to sign a contract extension with the province. The 27 year old Galway man has made 127 appearances for Connacht since making his debut in 2010 and won a PRO12 Championship medal in 2016.
 
McKeon played his underage rugby with his local club Galwegians and his school Coláiste Iognáid in Galway City. At international level he has previously represented Ireland at U18, U19 and U20 level. Off the field he has been a member of the Executive Board of Rugby Players Ireland since 2017.
 
Commenting on the latest contract extension, Head Coach Andy Friend said: “Eoin McKeon is a player who has come through the Connacht pathway from schools and club rugby to play for his province. He has been a hugely important player for us in the season gone by and will be a central figure again next season in our PRO14 and Champions Cup campaigns. As a senior member of our squad Eoin is a leader among the group”.
 
Following his contract signing, Eoin McKeon added: “I am delighted to sign a contract extension with my home province. I am proud of the journey I have taken through the grassroots game in Connacht and on to play for the senior team. We have developed a really positive culture in Connacht and as a club there is a huge determination to build on the season we have just had”.

Ahead of Saturday’s interpro with Munster at Thomond Park, Connacht back-row Eoin McKeon spoke to the media at the pre-match press conference.
 
Here are his thoughts on the brilliant win over Cardiff 10 days ago which booked our place in the playoffs, and what he makes of the challenge facing the squad at the weekend.
 

Ahead of tomorrow’s vital Guinness PRO14 clash with the Ospreys, Andy Friend and Eoin McKeon spoke to the media at this week’s pre-match press conference.
 
The pair spoke about moving on from the loss to Glasgow, the challenge facing them at The Sportsground on Saturday, and the importance of the fans as we head into a crucial period of the season.
 

The Connacht management team have released the latest squad update in advance of tomorrow evening’s friendly away to Bristol Bears.

 

Hooker:
Tom McCartney (ankle) and Jonny Murphy (chest) are progressing well with their respective injuries and will integrate into team training next week.

Lock:
Peter Claffey has returned to full training this week following his calf injury.

Gavin Thornbury is progressing well with his shoulder injury sustained in pre-season and will integrate into team training next week.

Back Row:
Robin Copeland has returned to full training this week following his hip injury.

Jarrad Butler (chest), Eoin McKeon (shoulder) and Sean O’Brien (calf) are all being managed this week by the medical and performance team for minor knocks.

Eoghan Masterson has undergone surgery for the thumb injury he sustained in the Brive pre-season fixture and will be out of action until October.

Outhalf:
David Horwitz is undergoing rehabilitation for a hamstring injury and will look to return to training shortly.

Centre:
Peter Robb is managing a neck injury and will partake in light training this week under the supervision of the medical team.

The starting XV to face Bristol Bears will be named later today (Thursday).

Connacht are boosted by the return of Irish international Quinn Roux for their PRO14 clash with Edinburgh in the Sportsground on Friday (Kick off 7:35pm). Bundee Aki, Kieran Marmion and Ultan Dillane are all rested after their involvement with Ireland’s Grand Slam winning Six Nations squad.

Flanker Eoin McKeon has also returned to the starting XV having been unavailable through injury since November. McKeon joins a back row that includes openside Jarrad Butler and Sean O’Brien at number 8.

Out-half Jack Carty and scrum half Caolin Blade continue their partnership which has been a regular feature over the past few weeks in Marmion’s absence.

Winger Niyi Adeolokun joins a back three that includes fullback Tiernan O’Halloran and Matt Healy. Healy became Connacht’s record try scorer after scoring twice against the Cheetahs in Bloemfontein.

At the pre game Press Conference, Connacht backs coach Nigel Carolan told reporters that Edinburgh will bring a big challenge on Friday night. “They made life really difficult for Munster last Friday night. They turned them over several times at the breakdown and that’s uncharacteristic for Munster”, said Carolan.

“You can see that there’s a real bite to them, there’s a real high level of fitness and physicality. They’re a tough team to play against. They very direct and confrontational and they’re a tough team to break down. That’s where our biggest focus has been this week, particularly around the breakdown”, he added.

 

#CONvEDI

Kick-off 7.35pm:

(15-9) Tiernan O’Halloran, Niyi Adeolokun, Eoin Griffin, Tom Farrell, Matt Healy, Jack Carty, Caolin Blade, (1-8) Denis Buckley, Tom McCartney (Capt), Finlay Bealham, Gavin Thornbury, Quinn Roux, Eoin McKeon, Jarrad Butler, Sean O’Brien.

Replacements (16-23): Dave Heffernan, Denis Coulson, Dominic Robertson McCoy, James Cannon, Eoghan Masterson, James Mitchell, Craig Ronaldson, Darragh Leader.

 

 

 

The Connacht Medical Team have issued a Squad Update ahead of the Guinness PRO14 clash with Zebre in the Sportsground on Friday (Kick Off 7:35pm).

 

Prop:
Denis Buckley progressing well in his recovery from ankle surgery and will return to training in the coming weeks.

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.

 

Lock:

Andrew Browne sustained a shoulder injury in the game versus Ospreys and will be out of action for 4-6 weeks.

 

Back Row:
Jarrad Butler has returned to team training this week following his hand injury versus Worcester in January.

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 has returned to team training this week following his hamstring injury versus Oyonnax in January.

Tiernan O’Halloran sustained a hamstring injury in the game versus Ospreys and will be out of action for a number of weeks.

 

 

 

Following the bonus point win away to Brive last weekend the squad are busy preparing for the return fixture this Saturday in the Sportsground (K.O. at 3pm).

 

Below are some of the best pictures from training this week.

 

 

 

Report:

There were no significant new injuries from the two games versus Brive and Richmond (Eagles) last weekend for the Connacht Senior Squad.

 

Prop:

Dominic Robertson McCoy is continuing his rehabilitation from thumb surgery and will be out of action until the end of 2017.

JP Cooney is rehabilitating from a recent hamstring injury and will return to action in early 2018.

 

Lock:

Andrew Browne is continuing his rehabilitation from Achilles surgery and will be out of action until early 2018.

 

Back Row:

Eoin McKeon will return to full training this week following his recent hamstring injury versus Cardiff.

Jake Heenan is recovering from shoulder surgery and will be out of action until April 2018.

Jarrad Butler is continuing his recovery from recent knee surgery and is due to return during the interpros series.

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

 

Centre:

Craig Ronaldson (calf) and Peter Robb (hip) both played 40 minutes for the Eagles at the weekend with no ill effects.

 

Back Three:

Stacey Ili (shoulder) played for the Eagles at the weekend with no ill effects.

Rory Scholes is continuing his recovery following the removal of his appendix and will return in early 2018.

Cormac Brennan will return in early 2018 following shoulder surgery.

 

 

 

Connacht Head Coach Kieran Keane has named his starting XV to face conference rivals Cardiff Blues in the Guinness PRO14 on Friday (K.O. 7:35pm Live on BBC 2 Wales). Connacht go into the fixture without Irish internationals Bundee Aki, Kieran Marmion and Ultan Dillane while Jarrad Butler and Craig Ronaldson remain on the injury list.

 

Niyi Adeoloukun who scored a decisive try in his first start of the season against the Cheetahs starts again on the wing. Matt Healy on the opposite wing and full-back Tiernan O’Halloran make up the rest of the back three. Eoin Griffin and Tom Farrell make up the centre pairing and while there is no starting position for new signing Pita Ahki, he is named among the replacements.

 

Jack Carty and Caolin Blade form the half back pairing with Marmion unavailable due to his involvement with the Irish squad. In the pack Dave Heffernan starts at hooker with Denis Buckley and Finlay Bealham in at loose head and tighthead respectively. The experienced back row includes flankers Eoin McKeon and Jake Heenan with Captain John Muldoon in at number 8.

 

With four wins a row in all competitions, Out-half Jack Carty says Connacht need to maintain consistency in the next few games: “Over the last few games we have managed to get the results we have needed. Our focus now is on consistency away to Cardiff and next week against Zebre, that’s what we need to deliver. We need to put in the performances now to put ourselves in a strong position later in the season. We were beaten by Cardiff earlier in the season, but we will not be focusing on that. We will be concentrating on ourselves and our own game.”

#CARvCON

Kick-off 7.35pm:

(15-9) Tiernan O’Halloran, Niyi Adeolokun, Eoin Griffin, Tom Farrell, Matt Healy, Jack Carty, Caolin Blade,

(1-8) Denis Buckley, Dave Heffernan, Finlay Bealham, Quinn Roux, James Cannon, Eoin McKeon, Jake Heenan, John Muldoon (Capt)

Replacements (16-23): Shane Delahunt, Peter McCabe, Conor Carey, Gavin Thornbury, Eoghan Masterson, James Mitchell, Steve Crosbie, Pita Ahki.

 

Our medical team have issued the following update ahead of the clash away to Cardiff Blues on Friday night  (K.O. at 7:35pm).

Prop:
JP Cooney has returned to training following his ankle injury in October.

Dominic Robertson McCoy is continuing his rehabilitation from thumb surgery and will be out of action until the end of 2017.

 

Lock:
Gavin Thornbury has reintegrated into full training following his calf injury versus the Cheetahs.

Andrew Browne is continuing his rehabilitation from Achilles surgery and will be out of action until early 2018.

 

Back Row:
Eoin McKeon will integrate fully into training this week following a recent hamstring injury.

Jake Heenan will integrate fully into training this week following a recent knee injury.

James Connolly is progressing well in his recovery from an ankle injury sustained in October and will return to training in the coming weeks.

Jarrad Butler is continuing his recovery from recent knee surgery and is due to return to training in early December.

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

 

Centre:
Eoin Griffin has returned to full training with the squad this week following his calf injury.

Craig Ronaldson is continuing his recovery from a calf injury and will return to training in December.

Peter Robb is rehabilitating from recent hip surgery and will be out of action until December.

 

Back Three:
Stacey Ili is progressing well in his recovery from a recent shoulder injury and will return to training in early December.

Rory Scholes had his appendix removed last week and will be out of action for a number of weeks.

Cormac Brennan will return in early 2018 following shoulder surgery.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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