Connacht Rugby can confirm the following players will depart the club next month at the end of their respective contracts.
 
Tom McCartney has announced his retirement from rugby and has returned to New Zealand after six years with Connacht. The hooker has amassed 112 appearances for the province and started in the 2016 Guinness PRO12 Grand Final.
 
Fellow centurion and Connacht native Eoin McKeon departs Connacht having played 137 times since his debut in April 2010, and was also a member of the 2016 PRO12 winning team.
 
Back-three duo Niyi Adeolokun and Darragh Leader depart having also featured in the 2015/16 campaign, with the pair amassing 94 and 91 caps respectively.
 
Trio Kyle Godwin, David Horwitz and Joe Maksymiw have completed their two-year contracts after joining in the summer of 2018.
 
As previously announced, Colby Fainga’a and Robin Copeland will join French sides Lyon and Soyaux Angouleme respectively.
 
Finally front-rowers Rory Burke and Peter McCabe have completed their contracts, while Angus Lloyd departs to pursue a medical career – having passed his medical exams while under contract at Connacht.
 
Commenting on today’s announcement, Connacht Head Coach Andy Friend says:
 
“The nature of professional rugby means there will always be comings and goings. I would personally like to wish all our departing players every success in the future and thank them for their contributions to Connacht Rugby, both on and off the field.
 
We all share in the players’ disappointment that they were unable to get a proper send-off at the Sportsground due to COVID, but they can be always assured of a warm welcome by the club and our supporters at any time in the future.”

Connacht Rugby have announced the signing of prop Rory Burke from Championship side Nottingham ahead of the 2019/20 season. Burke was previously capped for Munster in the Pro14 championship before joining Nottingham in 2017. The 25 year old has gone on to feature prominently for the championship side.
 
At international level, Burke represented Ireland at Under 20 level, playing in each of Ireland’s Under 20s Six Nations games in 2014 and in the IRB World Championship later that year.
 
Connacht have also confirmed that scrum half Stephen Kerins has become the latest player from the Connacht Academy to earn his first professional contract. The Sligo man made his Connacht debut in the European Challenge Cup win away to Bordeaux in January. Kerins was also previously capped for his country at Under 20 international level as he featured in the Under 20 Six Nations Championship in 2016.
 
Commenting on the latest additions to the Connacht squad, Head Coach Andy Friend said: “We are delighted to add Rory Burke and Stephen Kerins to our squad ahead of our 2019/20 campaign. In the season just gone, squad depth was really important to our success in qualifying for the Champions Cup. With more big games ahead that depth will be tested even further. Rory will give us another option up front, while Stephen’s graduation from the Academy will be needed to add to our list of scrum half options.

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