Connacht Rugby are pleased to announce the signing of Irish qualified lock Joe Maksymiw from Leicester Tigers ahead of the 2018/19 season.

 

Maksymiw is a product of the Leicester Tigers Academy and made his first senior appearance for the club against the Barbarians in 2014. This season he featured in the Anglo-Welsh Cup and made his Aviva Premiership and Champions Cup debuts for the club. 

 

A former student at De Lisle College and Wyggeston College, Maksymiw gained his first senior rugby experience with Leicester Lions at National League level. In the 2015/16 season he also played in the Championship for Doncaster where he spent a period on loan. The 22-year-old was part of England under 18’s tour to South Africa in 2014. 

 

Commenting on the signing of Joe Maksymiw, Connacht Forwards Coach Jimmy Duffy said: “Joe is an exciting young player who we are looking forward to having in our squad next season. He is a big powerful lock who has progressed well at Leicester and he will be a good addition to Connacht Rugby”.

 

Speaking after signing for Connacht Rugby, Joe Maksymiw said: “I am hugely excited about signing for Connacht and cannot wait to get over to the Sportsground and join up with the squad. I have really enjoyed my time with Leicester and would like to thank them for developing me as a player over the past few years. I know there is huge ambition within Connacht Rugby to bring further success to the province and I hope to contribute to that next season.”

 

 

Connacht Rugby and the IRFU are delighted to announce that back row Robin Copeland will join the province at the end of the current season. Copeland has made over 60 appearances for Munster during four seasons with the club and previously played over 50 times with the Cardiff Blues. He will join Connacht on a two year contract.

At international level, Copeland was capped for the Irish Senior International side when he made his debut against Georgia in November 2014. The back row has also represented the Irish Wolfhounds and Emerging Ireland sides.

Welcoming the signing of Robin Copeland, CEO of Connacht Rugby Willie Ruane said: “Robin is a player we have had on our radar for quite a while and we are delighted to have secured his signing ahead of the 2018/19 season. Robin brings incredible athletic ability and rugby experience to our squad and he will be a valuable player for us as we target further success in the season ahead. We are confident that he will be a great addition to Connacht both on and off the field.”

Commenting on his signing for Connacht, Robin Copeland added: “I have really enjoyed my four seasons with Munster and I would really like to thank everyone for my time there. I am now looking forward to the next challenge and an exciting future with Connacht. I have been really impressed with what has been achieved in Connacht and I am determined to be part of further success there. The club is well known for the importance it places on community and I look forward to representing them when I join up with the squad next season.”

 

 

 

We are delighted to announce the signing of Fijian international centre Eroni Vasiteri Narumasa on a one-year deal with the option for a further year.

28-year-old Eroni joins from the National Rugby Championship in Australia where he is currently playing for Fijian side Fijian Drua. He has previously played for French Top 14 side Agen and Nadroga Rugby Fiji, where he was voted the best player of the Fijian Championship in 2014.

Announcing the signing of Eroni, Connacht Head Coach Kieran Keane said: “I am delighted to announce that we are adding Eroni Vasiteri to our squad. Eroni is a strong, physical player who will give us greater options for the season ahead in the Guinness PRO14 and European Challenge Cup. Eroni will integrate into the squad in the coming weeks and I’m sure he will get a massive reception from the Sportsground crowd.”

Commenting on his signing for Connacht, Eroni Vasiteri added: “I am hugely excited about this latest challenge in my career. I cannot wait to get over to Ireland and start training with my new teammates. The new Guinness PRO14 Championship is an exciting competition and I can’t wait to line out for Connacht in the season ahead. Connacht has a legendary support in the Sportsground and I look forward to representing the province.”

See highlights of new signing Eroni Vasiteri Narumasa in action here.

 

We are pleased to announce the signing of former Ulster and Ireland U20 winger Rory Scholes for the 2017/18 season. Scholes moves from Edinburgh where he spent last season having previously scored five tries in 26 appearances for Ulster. The Belfast-born 24-year-old made nine appearances for Ireland U20s in the 2013 season scoring 33 points in the process.

Commenting on our latest signing, Assistant Coach Nigel Carolan said:

“We are delighted to have Rory Scholes on board for the coming season. Rory is an exciting player and he will add further quality to our squad for the season ahead.”

Speaking on his arrival in the Sportsground, Rory Scholes said:

“I am delighted to be joining Connacht ahead of the new season, particularly with an exciting new coaching team in place. I am looking forward to running out in the Sportsground and playing my part in what will hopefully be a successful season for the province.”

The best value to see all of our home games next season is through a Season Ticket, sign up here now to avoid disappointment. 

We announced the signing of out-half Andrew Deegan from New South Wales Waratahs earlier today with full details here.

The best value to see all of our home games next season is through a Season Ticket, sign up here now to avoid disappointment.

See the 22-year-old former Australia U20 international in action below.

We are pleased to announce the signing of Andrew Deegan from Super Rugby side New South Wales Waratahs.

The best value to see all of our home games next season is through a Season Ticket, sign up here now to avoid disappointment. 

The 22-year-old out-half, who has been capped by the Australia U20s and Australia Schoolboys, has represented the Waratahs, the NSW Country Eagles and Randwick.

Born in the Sydney suburb of Randwick, Deegan attended famed rugby nursery St Joseph’s College in Hunter’s Hill. After impressing for the school’s senior XV, he was selected for the Australian Schoolboys side in 2013 before helping the New South Wales U20s to back-to-back Championships in 2013 and 2014.

Deegan graduated to the senior ranks with Randwick in 2014 before progressing to the Australia U20s in 2015.

Last year saw the young playmaker score 194 points for Randwick, including five tries in 18 games, and he also helped the NSW Country Eagles to the 2016 NRC finals and was the top points’ scorer in the Shute Shield.

Commenting on the new signing, Assistant Coach Nigel Carolan said: “Andrew is a very highly-rated young player who has already gained a lot of experience in Australia. He has huge potential and we are delighted to welcome him to the province.”

Speaking on his move to the Sportsground, Deegan said: “I am really excited to get the opportunity to join Connacht and have only heard great things about the club, the community, and how supportive the fans are.

“I am delighted to become a part of that and I hope I can add to the success Connacht have enjoyed in recent times.”

See a video of Deegan in action below.

Incoming Head Coach Kieran Keane gives his verdict on the seventh new addition to the Connacht squad, Jarrad Butler.

Full details on the new addition here.

Connacht Rugby and the IRFU are delighted to announce the signing of prop Peter McCabe for the 2017/18 season.

25-year-old McCabe spent a short time training with Connacht as part of a loan deal in January but was recalled by Munster Rugby in February to start in the front row against Edinburgh in the Guinness PRO12.

The Cork-born prop played a starring role as Munster ‘A’ won the British & Irish Cup last season and made five senior appearances having earned his PRO12 debut in November 2016, coming on as a replacement against the Ospreys. The following week he started the friendly victory over the Maori All Blacks at Thomond Park and ended the season with four PRO12 appearances to his name.

Guarantee your entry to all Connacht home games by signing up for a 2017/18 Season Ticket here.

Commenting on the announcement, Connacht Rugby CEO Willie Ruane said: “We’re delighted to have Peter joining us for the new season. He already had a short taste of training with Connacht earlier in the year but it will be great to have him on board and part of the squad from the beginning of pre-season.”

Forwards Coach Jimmy Duffy added: “We have been keen for Peter to join our squad for some time now. He has huge potential as a young Irish prop and will add even more competition to our front row options. I’m really looking forward to working with him next season.”

McCabe is delighted to make the move to the Sportsground: “It is a privilege to sign for Connacht Rugby, a club that epitomises pride in the jersey and who play an exciting and expansive brand of rugby that I feel will suit my game. I look forward to pushing myself over the coming season.”

McCabe is the second new signing to join the province in the past week after Irish qualified scrum-half James Mitchell made the move from Sale Sharks last Wednesday.

A new Head of Athletic Performance, David Howarth, was also appointed recently. Howarth joined from NBA side Oklahoma City Thunder where he worked as Athletic Performance Coordinator for the past three years.

Connacht Rugby and the IRFU are delighted to announce the signing of scrumhalf James Mitchell on a two-year deal.

The 22-year-old from Maidstone in England is Irish qualified through his maternal grandmother who hails from Enniskillen, Co. Fermanagh. He joins Connacht from Sale Sharks where he has played as a professional for the past three seasons. His first-team debut for the Sharks came in an LV= Cup game against Worcester in January 2014. He has since played 20 times for the Premiership side, 12 of those during the last campaign.

Mitchell represented England at Under-16, U17 and U18 level before being selected for the 2015 U20 6 Nations Squad. He played in all five games in that competition and subsequently went on to feature in all five games at the U20 World Championship in Italy.

Commenting on the latest player signing, Connacht CEO Willie Ruane said:

“We’re delighted to be acquiring the services of a young Irish qualified player like James. His signing highlights the potential of the new IRFU IQ programme when it comes to identifying Irish qualified talent overseas.

“James comes with a great deal of experience from playing in the Premiership and we’re excited to see what he will add to the squad and the scrumhalf position.”

James Mitchell added:

“I’m really looking forward to moving over to Connacht. From speaking to a few people about the club I’m really excited by the new challenge and I believe it is a great opportunity for me. I’ve been watching Connacht Rugby for a few seasons now and have been really taken by the exciting brand of rugby they play. Hopefully I can make a positive contribution to the team.”

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